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Yang: ‘American life expectancy has declined for the last three years’

“The problem is that so many people feel like the economy has left them behind. What we have to do is, we have to say, ‘look, there’s record high GDP and stock market prices, you know what else there are record highs [of]? Suicides, drug overdoses, depression, anxiety.’ It’s gotten so bad that American life expectancy has declined for the last three years.”

— Businessman Andrew Yang

Life expectancy for Americans has steadily declined over two of the last three years, from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 years in 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Data for 2018 are not publicly available) That’s the first decline over a three-year stretch in a century.

Suicides and fatal drug overdoses have contributed to the decline of life expectancy, as Yang claims, but CDC also cites chronic liver disease as a contributing factor.

Fact-checking the second Democratic debate
Democratic 2020 presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pose together before the start of the second night of the second 2020 presidential Democratic candidates debate in Detroit, Wednesday. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Twenty candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination are again taking the stage — 19 who were on the stage during last month’s debate and one, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who was seen by debate-watchers for the first time Tuesday. The debate, hosted by CNN, began airing at 8 p.m. Eastern; the Fact Checker is writing on the candidates’ claims here.

Here’s what the Fact Checker found during the first debate.