New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that nearly 300,000 "excess deaths" have occurred this year in the U.S. due to the pandemic.

In a new report documenting deaths associated with COVID-19, the agency estimated 299,028 excess deaths between late January and early October. Of those, 66 percent—or an estimated 198,081—are confirmed to have been attributed to COVID-19. The CDC defines "excess deaths" as "the number of persons who have died from all causes, in excess of the expected number of deaths for a given place and time."

Estimates of this nature, the agency explained in their report on Tuesday, assist in developing a more comprehensive understanding of mortality as it relates to the ongoing pandemic "including deaths that are directly or indirectly attributable" to COVID-19. Other highlights from the new report are that the biggest percentage increases of excess deaths were seen in adults between the ages of 25 and 44 (up 26.5 percent), as well as among Hispanic or Latino persons.

The next six to twelve weeks could prove critical in how the U.S. moves forward in the coronavirus era, with Michael Osterholm—the director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy—recently warning that this period will be the "darkest of the entire pandemic."

And while the Trump administration remains committed to downplaying the severity of the current moment by way of attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci and others whose messaging is more rooted in a call for unity and caution, there's no argument against the fact that the American people have suffered greatly due to this administration's inability to rise to the occasion.

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