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A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943

COVID-19: What Was the Effect on Disability?

The emergency may be over, but are you still suffering in the aftermath?

As the graph shows, the proportion of Americans over age 16 with a disability has increased sharply since 2021: from about 115 in 100,000 (projected, shown by blue line) to nearly 125 in 100,000 (black line). During the height of COVID, the proportion was lower.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate is up 33% since the spring of 2021. Since February 2021, more than 1 million employed U.S. women ages 16-64 have reported disabilities to the U.S. Department of Labor. Former BlackRock fund manager Edward Dowd calls this rise in disabilities a silent, ongoing catastrophe, and he wonders why he hasn’t heard questions from public health authorities.

The increase happens to coincide with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, in conjunction with the similar magnitude of the rate of serious adverse events (SAEs) from the clinical trials.

Note that correlation of cumulative time series is misleading and does not establish a causal relationship. However, comprehensive investigation needs to be performed.

There has been an uptick in private disability insurance claims, and many factors could contribute to this. CDC continues to state that COVID-19 shots are safe and effective, and that “everyone 6 months and older can get an updated COVID-19 vaccine.” Only about 5% of eligible Americans have gotten the latest booster.

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