Thursday, May 21, 2020

Pew: Americans Who Rely Most TWH Likely to Downplay Pandemic

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to command Americans' attention, views of the media's performance and details about what people have seen or heard differ substantially depending on which sources they rely on most for news and information about the pandemic. 

Among five groups of news consumers examined, Americans who rely most on President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for news about COVID-19 clearly stand out, according to a new analysis from Pew Research Center's American News Pathways project.

Among the key findings:
  • Those who rely on Trump and the task force for their coronavirus news give, by a wide margin, the most negative assessments of the media's coverage of the pandemic.
  • About half of this group (51%) say the outbreak has been made a bigger deal than it really is, compared with just 8% who say it’s been downplayed too much (40% say it’s been approached about right).
  • Those who rely most on Trump and the task force also stand out in the coronavirus topics they have been following and claims they are aware of:
  • They are focusing more attention than other groups on the economic impact of the pandemic and the federal government’s response.
  • And six-in-ten of them also have heard a lot about the unproven claim that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine could be useful in treating the virus, a higher portion than any other group.
The new analysis stems from a survey conducted April 20-26, 2020, among 10,139 U.S. adults who are members of the Center's American Trends Panel.

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