COVID-19, overdoses pushed US to highest death total ever

  • 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. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

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.