A new research paper from the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics finds that regular viewers of Sean Hannity’s Fox News program may have a higher risk of dying from coronavirus than might viewers of Tucker Carlson.
The main reason? Carlson, unlike many other Fox News hosts, seemed to take on an early air of caution and concern about coronavirus than did Hannity.
For example, by February 27, Hannity was scoffing off worries about the disease, expressing himself as “thankful” that there were zero deaths in America by that point. Carlson, on the other hand, had warned his viewers on February 25 that millions in the country could die, if action on it wasn’t taken soon.
The paper, titled “Misinformation During a Pandemic,” surveyed 1,000 Fox News viewers and asked them which programs they watched more, The Chicago Tribune reported. It then asked viewers when they started changing their behavior — that is, taking more precautions about public travel or adhering to other social distancing norms.
The difference between viewerships was stark.
“We find that Hannity’s viewers on average changed their behavior in response to the coronavirus five days later than other Fox News viewers, while Carlson’s viewers changed behavior three days earlier than other Fox News viewers,” the study’s authors wrote.
The study’s findings were contested by Fox News representatives, but they seem to be in-line with other data suggesting those who consume their news about COVID-19 are less informed about it, in general.
As reported earlier this month by HillReporter.com, polling of conservative voters found that by mid-April, 3-in-5 viewers of right-wing news media still believed coronavirus was similar to the flu — a supposition that is wrong on so many levels, as COVID-19 is demonstrably deadlier.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.