Virus Outbreak Louisiana Hospital

Medical staff prepare to move the body of a deceased COVID-19 patient to a funeral home van at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La., Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2022 confirms that 2021 was the deadliest year in U.S. history.

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NEW YORK — 2021 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, and new data and research are offering more insights into how it got that bad.

The main reason for the increase in deaths? COVID-19, said Robert Anderson, who oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work on death statistics.