Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Fox News' False Reporting Is Not Just Misinformative — Studies Suggest It Could Literally Kill You

Polling shows conservatives are more likely to believe there's an overreporting of COVID-19 deaths — a falsehood that's frequently peddled on the conservative "news" network.

Two-thirds of Americans have doubts about the official death toll count for coronavirus in the United States, but for different reasons, with more believing there is an undercount than an overcount of mortalities being reported.

According to an Axios/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month, 44 percent of Americans believe that more have died from COVID-19 than has been reported, while 23 percent believe the official counts are overreporting the number of deaths that have happened. Thirty-two percent say the official death count is probably accurate.

The White House/Flickr
Political ideology seems to play a role, however, in how people perceive things to be. When the same question is posed to Republicans only, the number believing there to be an overcount of deaths jumps up to 40 percent, with just 24 percent saying there is an undercounting of coronavirus deaths happening.

A number of health experts believe that there is indeed an undercount of deaths related to the disease, and that the true number of coronavirus deaths, as well as cases in general, is probably much higher than what is being reported.

But you wouldn't know that if you only consumed right-wing media, like Fox News. Its hosts regularly promulgate the errant theory that deaths are overcounted. In turn, their viewers take hold of these ideas, and the result is translated in the polling data cited above.

Conservative media is misinforming Americans about this crisis — and in some ways, it's causing direct harm to its viewers. One study suggests that regular viewers of Sean Hannity's program are more inclined to engage in risky behaviors when it comes to coronavirus, and thus, are more likely to die than non-viewers as a result.

In other words, Fox News is demonstrably bad for your health.

Turn them off.

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