38% of US adults believe government is faking COVID-19 death toll – Community News

38% of US adults believe government is faking COVID-19 death toll

A man walks on
enlarge / A man walks through “In America: Remember,” a public art installation commemorating all Americans who have died as a result of COVID-19, on the National Mall on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

From the very beginning, misinformation has plagued the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, undermining efforts to stop the spread of the disease and save lives. New research data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows how monstrous the problem of misinformation is.

Of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, 78 percent reported hearing at least one of eight common COVID-19 falsehoods and either said the falsehood is true or they weren’t sure whether it’s true or false.

The most common lie people labeled as true was that “the government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths”. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they had heard this lie and that it is true. Another 22 percent said they’d heard it, but weren’t sure whether it was true or false.

The finding is likely troubling for the surviving loved ones of the nearly 756,000 Americans who have already died from COVID-19. It also agrees with previous research results from KFF showing that personally knowing someone who became seriously ill or died from COVID-19 was one of the strongest motivators for convincing unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.

As of June 1, about 160,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 amid the widespread availability of death-preventing vaccines. To date, only 68.4 percent of people eligible for vaccination in America (people 12 years and older) have been fully vaccinated. Nearly 79 percent have had at least one dose.

Myths and news

The next most common falsehoods flagged as true by respondents were that “deaths from the COVID-19 vaccine are intentionally hidden by the government” – 18 percent said this is true and 17 percent said they don’t. were certain – and that “pregnant women should not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine” – 17 percent believe this and 22 percent aren’t sure. With more than 7.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide under intense surveillance administered, the vaccines have been shown to be remarkably safe.In addition, because pregnant people are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19, vaccination is especially recommended to protect pregnant people and their babies.

Of the remaining common falsehoods, 31 percent believe or are unsure whether COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility. Twenty-eight percent believe or are unsure whether ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. Twenty-five percent believe or aren’t sure you can get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine, while 24 percent believe or aren’t sure whether the shots contain a microchip. And 21 percent believe or aren’t sure the vaccines can change your DNA.

Sensitivity to misinformation was not uniform across survey respondents, KFF noted. “Belief in disinformation about COVID-19 is correlated with both vaccine status and bias, with unvaccinated adults and Republicans much more likely to believe or be insecure about false statements compared to vaccinated adults and Democrats,” the nun reported. -profit health organization.

There were also differences based on which news sources people trusted. Belief in misinformation was highest among those who reported trusting conservative new sources. For example, 46 percent of Newsmax viewers believe or aren’t sure about four or more of the eight common falsehoods included in the survey. Another 40 percent of Newsmax viewers believe or hesitate between one and three of those falsehoods. Thirty-seven percent of One America News (OAN) viewers believe or are not sure about four or more falsehoods, and 43 percent believe or doubt between one and three. Of Fox News viewers, 36 percent believe or doubt four or more false statements, and 52 percent believe or doubt between one and three.

“One thing this study cannot unravel,” KFF noted, “is whether this is because people are exposed to misinformation from those news sources or whether the kinds of people who choose those news sources are the same ones who tend to believe certain types of news.” misinformation for other reasons.”