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Nearly 3-In-5 Right-Wing News Viewers Still Believe COVID-19 Is Just Like The Flu

A new poll reveals that, the more right-wing news sources a person consumes, the more likely it becomes that they’ll believe errant ideas about coronavirus.

Rae Whitlock/Wikimedia

Polling from Gallup released this week found that Republican-leaning Americans are more likely to have a dismally low view of the media in general, with only 10 percent saying they give them a favorable rating (versus the general public overall giving media a 34 percent favorability rating).

Within the poll, Gallup dug deeper and asked people to explain their news “diets” — what kind of news sources they tended to rely upon to formulate their viewpoints. Conservative news diets, for example, included media sources such as Fox News, Breitbart, One America News, and the National Review, among others, the polling agency explained.

People were then asked to express their views on a number of subjects. The overall finding on one question showcases that conservative media may not be giving its consumers the right information.

On the question over whether coronavirus is equally as deadly or less deadly than the flu, for example, there appeared to be a direct correlation between people believing that idea and how conservative their media diets were. Only 28 percent of individuals with a liberal media diet agreed with the premise, while 36 percent with a mixed diet said the same.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of Americans with a conservative-only diet of media said they believed the flu and coronavirus were comparable, or that COVID-19 was less deadly.

That is a dangerous idea to believe, however, because it is wrong, and through that misinformation opinion, it gives people the idea that they don’t have to treat this current crisis as serious.

According to recent projections, coronavirus is predicted to result in the deaths of 60,000 Americans by August. That model’s prediction, however, is only possible if we continue social distancing measures through that time.

The White House projected earlier in April that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans would die of the disease. For comparison, in a typical year, the flu kills between 12,000 to 56,000 in the U.S.

Additional data from Gallup’s poll found that those with conservative news diets were more likely to have positive views of Trump’s job performance (94 percent) and a belief that the media, in general, are giving too much attention to the coronavirus pandemic (71 percent).

Featured image credit: Rae Whitlock/Wikimedia



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