Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Two recent Gallup/Knight Foundation surveys find Americans' understanding about the coronavirus is strongly shaped by partisan affiliation and news consumption habits, especially when basic facts are politicized. Specifically, while Democrats and independents increasingly see COVID-19 as more deadly than the seasonal flu, Republicans' views have not changed. And while Democrats tend to think the death toll from COVID-19 is understated, Republicans believe it is exaggerated.
The consequences of engaging in partisan battles over coronavirus-related issues are high because Americans appear primed to engage in partisan-motivated reasoning. Fortunately, a remedy is available. Political leaders and news organizations can push back against false information that poses health risks to Americans' lives.
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