From the first days of the COVID pandemic in America, Fox News has sought to downplay its severity. They disparaged mitigation efforts such as wearing masks and social distancing. They promoted quack cures such as bleach injections and horse dewormner. And they discouraged people from protecting themselves and others by getting vaccinated. They have, in effect, turned the viral crisis into the Fox News Pandemic.
A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation has revealed further confirmation of the devastating damage that Fox News and other right-wing media have wrought on the American people:
Most people who trust local and network TV, CNN, MSNBC and NPR for #COVID19 information believe little or no misinformation.
Larger shares who trust Newsmax, OANN and Fox News hold many misconceptions.
— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) November 8, 2021
The study asked respondents whether they believed a set of known falsehoods about the coronavirus. They included that…
- The government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths
- Pregnant women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine
- Deaths due to the COVID-19 vaccine are being intentionally hidden by the government
- The COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility
- Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19
- You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine
- The COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip
- The COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA.
Not surprisingly, three times as many Republicans (46%) believe four or more of the false statements than Democrats (14%). And the groups most likely to believe the most misinformation are viewers of Fox News (36%), One America News (37%), and Newsmax (46%).
What’s more, the study found that Democrats trust COVID information from a broad variety of news sources including local TV (66%), network news (72%), CNN (65%), MSNBC (56%), and NPR (51%). Republicans, on the other hand, have trust that is almost entirely limited to Fox News (49%). And consumers of conservative news sources generally are far more likely to believe the most misinformation. While viewers who don’t believe any of the false statements is about 40% for CNN, MSNBC, network news, and NPR, that drops to 20% for OAN, 14% for Newsmax, and only 12% of Fox News viewers believe none of the blatant falsehoods.
The findings in the Kaiser study are closely aligned with related studies that show that those who rely on Fox News for information are significantly more at risk for contracting COVID than those who do not. It’s why almost 40% of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10% of Democratic adults.
Trusting Fox News, therefore, is literally dangerous to your health, as well as that of your family, your community, and your nation. And that’s true with respect to COVID, as well as the lies Fox tells about climate change, education, election fraud, the economy, healthcare, and any other issue that impacts the lives of the American people. The only thing that Fox News is interested in is advancing its agenda of greed and evangelical conservatism. No matter how many people are harmed.
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