How damaging has the faux hysteria emanating from the media over the coronavirus been? If a new poll from Franklin-Templeton Gallup is an indication, the result has been making most of the country completely ignorant of the scientific facts regarding the current pandemic. Not coincidently, the false perceptions that now abound just so happen to play right into left-wing desires, like perpetual lockdowns and keeping schools closed.
Brit Hume shared some of the results of the study in question this morning. They are either mind-blowing or mind-numbing depending on your outlook.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 18, 2020
These results are nothing short of stunning. Mortality data have shown from the very beginning that the COVID-19 virus age-discriminates, with deaths overwhelmingly concentrated in people who are older and suffer comorbidities. This is perhaps the only uncontroversial piece of evidence we have about this virus. Nearly all US fatalities have been among people older than 55; and yet a large number of Americans are still convinced that the risk to those younger than 55 is almost the same as to those who are older.
The biggest eye-opener is how completely vapid Americans are when it comes to knowing the risks related to COVID. Americans actually believe that those 44 and younger make up 30% of COVID deaths. In reality, if you are under 45, you are more likely to die from the flu because the death rate is so low. On the other end, Americans underestimate the risk to seniors, which actually do suffer from a very high risk from the coronavirus.
What that all adds up to is an ignorant public that doesn’t know how to mitigate properly. We are currently fighting over schools when it’s nursing homes that are actually at risk. This is the danger of media misinformation on display. While it may seem like harmless partisanship at times, the lies and false panic spewed by places like CNN and MSNBC have real-world consequences.
You’ll also be less than shocked to learn that Democrats, by far, lead the country in ignoring science when talking about the virus.
For the last six months, we have all read and talked about nothing but COVID-19; how can there be still such a widespread, fundamental misunderstanding of the basic facts? Our poll results identify two major culprits: the quality of information and the extreme politicization of the COVID-19 debate:
People who get their information predominantly from social media have the most erroneous and distorted perception of risk.
Those who identify as Democrats tend to mistakenly overstate the risk of death from COVID-19 for younger people much more than Republicans.
All those Democrats on Twitter who are constantly spreading nonsense about schools, death rates, and the risks of the coronavirus in general simply have no idea what they are talking about. According to this poll, that’s largely because they live in their social media bubbles, getting information from sources that continually mislead them on the real facts behind the virus.
Anecdotes about younger people dying from COVID, which has less chance of happening than them dying from a lightning strike, are one of the chief tools the media uses to skew perceptions and spread fear. As a result, we see people who are statistically not at risk believing that someone who is 20 has a high chance of dying from the virus if contracted. Again, the science says that’s false, but media bias via social media has conditioned Democrats to believe all kinds of nonsense.
When confronted with these realities, the most typical response is denial and digging up more anecdotes, which are not evidence of anything. For example, I noted on Twitter some weeks ago the extraordinarily low rate of transmission from students to teachers. The immediate response was to claim I wanted children to die and pointing to a singular case in Israel, whereas the rest of the world had not seen a single other transmission. These people operate purely off of partisan emotion.
In the end, it all comes back to Trump. If Barack Obama were in office, the media wouldn’t be acting the way they are acting and people wouldn’t be as ill-informed. But the orange man being bad overtakes all logic and common sense. Thus, we are left with a large percentage of the populace wanting to make policy decisions based on false “facts” about the virus. That’s dangerous, but it’s also the natural result of a media so hopelessly biased that they can’t be trusted to report honestly about something as non-partisan as a deadly disease.