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Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic drove life expectancy in the U.S. to its lowest level since 2006, according to new preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Racial disparities in life expectancy also widened in the first half of 2020. White Americans now live an average of six years longer than Black Americans, up from about a four-year difference in 2019.

By the numbers: Overall, American life expectancy was about 78 years in the first half of 2020. In 2019, it was roughly 79 years.

  • Men can expect to live an average of 75 years, compared to 81 years for women. Both lost about a year off of their life expectancy in the first months of the pandemic.

Yes, but: The preliminary data don't account for normal seasonal fluctuations in the death rate (more people tend to die in the winter), and issues with states' reporting of COVID-related deaths could also have skewed the early-2020 numbers, the CDC said.

Related: In a separate report, the CDC said yesterday that roughly 81,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between June 2019 and June 2020 — a 21% jump over the same period the year before.

Go deeper

The stark racial gap in homeownership

Reproduced from the National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

The homeownership rate for Black families is nearly 30 percentage points lower than that for white families, according to a new data analysis by the National Association of Realtors, which examined trends between racial groups from 2009 to 2019.

Why it matters: The report comes as President Biden has signed an executive order on racial inequity, directing his administration to take steps toward eliminating "racial bias and other forms of discrimination in all stages of home-buying and renting."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
42 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.