New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic

I post this not out of partisanship but out of a desire to explore why some people just don’t think wearing masks and other precautions are a big deal.

The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’ Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences.

“We are receiving an incredible number of studies and solid data showing that consuming far-right media and social media content was strongly associated with low concern about the virus at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which published one of the studies.

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I think this is apparent to the most casual observer…but I’ll pop the corn before the bell rings to start the main event!

But yet the severity of the pandemic seemed to be in places with Democratic control? New York anyone?


Like those democratic strongholds of Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida?


Read up a little about Arizona. First, it was pretty solidly democratic in the 1940s and 1950s. Second, over the last 20 years it has seen an influx of mostly white and Democrat voters as the economy has boomed and they have fled places like California where the economy and taxes were fluctuating; not to mention all the ‘snowbirds’ coming to settle for good from the liberal and affluent areas of the East coast.

Because of the INTERNATIONAL airports, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark etc
And the highly dense population of NYC.

The was no European travel ban until March. The strain that hit our region came from Europe, not China. We have over 3 million Europeans come into our airports Jan,Feb,March.

So tired of people pointing fingers at my region and how badly we have been decimated and think it’s because of my region is Dem.

That is NOT why we have been decimated. This is a VIRUS. IT hit us because OUR AIRPORTS were open to European travelers for 3 MONTHS and infected us.

PLEASE USE FACTS, and not political crap
Thank you


Big cities, especially NYC, would be petri dishes no matter who was in charge. The subway and the crowds everywhere just spread the virus. Plus, big cities have dense housing. That contributes, too. Has nothing to do with who the mayor is.

But it’s much easier to use political crap! Some things are rightly seen through a political lens, some are not. In some cases, the political lens needs to be overlaid upon facts. In this case, dense populations are always susceptible to disease spread.


Texas, anyone? Another new record yesterday.

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Yes. 3 major airports in the New York area, and no testing of anyone returning home.

College students were called home from semesters abroad, arrived and no one tested them.

Airport screeners are function of the TSA which falls under homeland security.

This has been a disaster. Four month into it no lessons learned.


I think it’s political and “my rights”, we have a President who refuses to wear a mask, downplays the virus, coupled with the great “it’s my right not to wear a mask etc”, I can’t see any other country that has turned this whole thing into such a political. me, me, me, fiasco like here in the US.


My county was the hotspot of my state for the first few weeks of the pandemic.
It is majority democrat.

The next hotspot here was the major city across the county line.
Also democrat.

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So poverty and crime centralized in democratic strongholds - not their fault. Pandemic fatality impacts centralized there - not their fault. But we will cite anecdotal correlations to make a case that the areas hit hardest have the largest Hannity viewership?

That’s as scientifically worthy as saying the areas hardest hit all have a dipthong in their name. And I say this as someone who doesn’t much care for Hannity. He’s too loud, brash, and walked away from the Church over the scandals.


Has anyone on this thread actually listened to Hannity’s radio program since the COVID-19 pandemic started?

I listen to him during my drive home from work everyday.

From the very beginning, Sean Hannity has urged people to WEAR MASKS!!!

So much for the “new research” that shows “how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic.”

It looks like the “new research” is doo doo. Fake. Or at least, mistaken when it comes to Sean Hannity and face masks.

When “research” contains one fallacy, it is prudent to ask how many other fallacies are in the research.

As a person who works in a scientific career (clinical microbiology), I will not trust a source that publishes a “fact” that can be refuted by a 63-year old med tech.

Be careful, CAF friends. There’s a lot of “fake research” happening. Go to the sources. Get the facts. Make them PROVE it.


You say this. But, the linked article shows Hannity in early March saying it’s not such a big deal. Yes, now he is telling people to wear masks. But, the linked article shows he didn’t always think it was serious. And, that’s what the article is about - early statements.

The research is retrospective. I didn’t see that the article even mentioned facemasks.

But those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency.”

And, since facemasks weren’t in the article, what are you talking about?

And you are arguing about a fact not presented. I searched one linked study, and they don’t mention face masks at all.

Are you arguing for people to discount peer-reviewed studies if they present facts one disagrees with?

Come on man. This is such a tenuous point to attempt to make. If you want to lay blame for mask wearing, how about starting with Dr. Fauci, who discouraged mask wearing early on, only to admit later he did so not because they aren’t effective, but he was concerned about medical workers not having enough. Selling us something under false pretenses, if you will.


We are in a crisis of information flow, and have been for decades.
And we’re reaping the results of biased “news reporting “

It is not fair to compare what Dr. Fauci said before we know as much as we know now with what people are saying now, despite what we known, and despite the fact that such mask wearing does not endanger the supply of PPE for medical workers. Anyone who advises today that a mask is not necessary in public close quarters indoors is totally irresponsible.

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Ah, but Paul’s point was to chide what Hannity said in March as somehow being responsible (despite no way to verify this…). You can’t have it both ways.


I think there are two different takes on the virus at work here.

Hannity was saying the virus wasn’t anything more than the flu.
Fauci was saying that this is so serious that we need all of the masks for the healthcare workers.

They both can be interpreted as saying don’t wear masks, but it’s for entirely opposite reasons.


True, and both could in theory have the same net effect, if one is able to actually prove that either message led to fewer masks being worn, which led to greater exposure, which led to greater rates of infection. Not to mention, it was disingenuous of Fauci to conceal his opposition to mask wearing, which put people at risk. For him to later reveal that “oh yes, masks work well, but I didn’t think the average rabble was worthy of a mask relative to our front-line medical folks” is quite poor from a medical man.

For as much as some posters want to take to task people who conflate correlation and causation, this article is the epitome of correlation (at best, and perhaps not even).

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