A new study released findings that more Americans 65-years-old and under died from alcohol-related deaths than COVID-19 in the infamous year of 2020. The study was performed by researchers with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Friday.
The National Institute is a division of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH. “Alcohol-related deaths, including from liver disease and accidents, increased to 99,017 in 2020, up from 78,927 the year prior”
While 74,408 Americans ages 16 to 64 died of alcohol-related causes, 74,075 individuals under 65 died of Covid-19, the study found. The rate of increase for alcohol-related deaths in 2020 (25 percent) was greater than the rate of increase of deaths from all causes (16.6 percent).
Lockdowns provide insight into why the largest increase in alcohol-related deaths in 2020 was among younger adults from ages 25 to 44. That age group recorded a whopping almost 40 percent rise over the previous year.
The increase was well above the average annual increase of 3.6 percent in alcohol-related deaths between 1999 and 2019, reports National Review.
The report’s first author, Aaron White, who is a senior scientific adviser at the alcohol abuse institute, told the New York Times that researchers believe there were “lots of people who were in recovery and had reduced access to support that spring and relapsed.” Much of the information came from death certificates. Researches included deaths in which alcohol was listed as an underlying or contributing cause.
“Stress is the primary factor in relapse, and there is no question there was a big increase in self-reported stress, and big increases in anxiety and depression, and planet-wide uncertainty about what was coming next,” he said. “That’s a lot of pressure on people who are trying to maintain recovery.”
John Kelly, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the Times that some people were unable or reluctant to seek care during lockdowns and times that hospitals were slammed with Covid-19 cases.
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Watchdog: Pentagon likely rushed denials of COVID-19 vaccine Religious Exemption requests
The Army only approved just 24 religious COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests out of a total 8,514 requests submitted by active duty soldiers, and 1,602 requests have been rejected while the rest remain pending.
Military.com obtained information showing the Pentagon rushed vaccine exemption denials:
Sean O’Donnell, the Pentagon’s inspector general, wrote in a June 2 memo to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin obtained by Military.com calling attention to a “concerning” trend in which military brass rushed to reject vaccine-exemption petitions rather than giving each request due consideration.
“We found a trend of generalized assessments rather than the individualized assessment that is required by Federal law and DoD and Military Service policies,” he said. “Some of the appellate decisions included documentation that demonstrated a greater consideration of facts and circumstances involved in a request.”
In March, a Texas judge blocked the Navy from dismissing sailors with pending exemption requests and in August, a Florida federal judge ordered class action relief and granted an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for the Marine Corps.
National Review writes, “For the last year, military has been struggling with a recruitment problem. As of July, with only three months left in the fiscal year, the Army had met only 40 percent of its recruitment goal and reduced its active-duty force by 12,000 troops.”
O’Donnell calculated that officials likely gave each appeal a cursory glance rather than a thorough examination, possibly opening the door to litigation from service members who had to resign after they failed to obtain exemptions. Across all the branches, there were about 50 denials per day in a 90-day period, he determined. Over a thousand Coast Guardsmen have already tried to launch a class-action lawsuit in response to their being refused religious exemptions, the publication noted.
“The volume and rate at which decisions were made to deny requests is concerning,” the memo read. “Assuming a 10-hour work day with no breaks or attention to other matters, the average review period was about 12 minutes for each package. Such a review period seems insufficient to process each request in an individualized manner and still perform the duties required of their position.”
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