An analysis by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News found that the number of U.S. healthcare workers that died during the pandemic is considerably higher than offical figures released by the government. It documented 2,921 deaths among healthcare workers up to December 23, 2020 compared to 928 deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of 17 December, though the agency has stated that its figures are likely an undercount. More than half of the nearly 3,000 deaths in The Guardian/KHN analysis involved people under 60. It stated that the median age of death from Covid-19 in the general population is 78 but that it is just 59 among the medical staff on the front lines of the pandemic.
Additionally, two in three deceased healthcare workers were people of color while a large share of those who died had serious concerns about inadequate PPE. 680 deaths were counted in New York and New Jersey, the early hot spots of the pandemic, while the toll has been climbing more recently in western and southern U.S. states. The research also analyzed the occupations within the health system that have suffered the greatest impact so far. Out of the total number of deaths, occupation data was available in 1,394 cases. Of that, roughly one in three deaths involved nurses with 420 cases identified. A broad swathe of other occupations were also listed including first reponders, social workers, cleaners and culinary staff.