Viewers of one TV network are worst at estimating true COVID death risk

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A poll found that viewers of conservative cable news channels Newsmax and Fox News have a better understanding of the risk of death from COVID-19 than do viewers of channels on the political left, CNN and MSNBC.

Overall, the Rasmussen survey found 30% of American adults correctly estimate the rate to be less than 2%. Another 20% believe it to be between 2% and 5%, and 17% estimate the mortality rate to be in the 5%-10% range. The survey found 19% believe the rate is more than 10%. And 14% say they’re not sure.

The infection fatality rate is difficult to determine, because it is based on an estimate of how many people have been infected with the virus.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last spring estimated the U.S. fatality rate at 0.7%.

On its website, the CDC breaks down its best estimates of the infection fatality rate by age, from a 0.002% rate (or a 99.998% survival rate) for children up to age 17 to a 9% rate for people age 65 and older. However, for healthy seniors, the death rate is considerably lower, because the CDC has found that people who die of COVID have an average of 2.6 comorbidities, or serious pre-existing health conditions.

The Rasmussen poll broke down the responses between viewers of cable news channels.

More viewers of Newsmax (40%) and Fox News (34%) correctly estimated the COVID-19 mortality rate than viewers of CNN (22%) or MSNBC (24%).

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow (Video screenshot)

Twenty-one percent of One America News viewers correctly estimated the coronavirus mortality rate.

Among Americans who say they don’t watch cable news at all, 38% correctly estimated the fatality rate as less than 2%.

The survey also asked Amerians if they believe public health officials are lying about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 37% said yes, which is up from 32% in early July.

Forty-four percent believe officials are lying about vaccine safety, while only 19% are not sure.

The highest levels of distrust are among those who say they most often watch conservative channels.

Sixty-two percent of Newsmax viewers think public health officials are lying about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, as do 60% of OAN viewers and 49% of Fox News viewers.

Only 26% of CNN viewers and 25% of MSNBC viewers believe officials are lying about vaccine safety.

The survey of 1,000 American adults was conducted Aug. 26 and 29.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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