A new study revealed a majority of voters on both sides of the political aisle believed exaggerated claims about COVID-19 and the effects it would have on people including children.
While the survey of 35,000 from Gallup and Franklin Templeton showed that Democrats were more likely to overestimate the severity of COVID-19, such as the risk of death the virus posed to children and teens, and Republicans were more likely to underestimate the virus’s toll, a majority of voters on the left, right, and middle of the political aisle all overstated the effect coronavirus had on multiple factors including hospitalization rates.
The current hospitalization rate for COVID-related illness in the United States hovers between 1 and 5 percent, but 41 percent of Democrats, 28 percent of Republicans, and 35 percent of independents or members of other political parties said there is a 50-plus percent chance that someone with the Wuhan virus will need to be treated at a hospital.
This incorrect yet general consensus, the New York Times noted, was often reinforced with widespread policy decisions by partisan actors, such as Democratic politicians in blue states and cities keeping schools closed despite scientific evidence pointing to reopening while red states started to transition back to in-person models as early as August.
“I think in many ways it’s based on the fact that these voters are misinformed about the risks to young people and they’re misinformed about the risks generally,” Gallup’s principal economist Jonathan Rothwell said.
Such an overwhelming majority of Dems being misinformed on this is also why so many can’t comprehend how Florida can be mostly open but still be doing better than a state like New York, and why some have thus resorted to conspiracies about manipulated data.
— AG (@AGHamilton29) March 22, 2021
Corporate media was quick to pick up the panic narrative about COVID-19, condemning Republican governors for refusing to lock down, despite the scientific data suggesting that prolonged lockdowns would take a large metal and physical toll on people. Journalists also often misconstrued scientific data to fit a fearmongering narrative and employed the censorship efforts of eager Big Tech companies to obscure scientific studies and testimonies about the effects and potential treatment of the virus.