May 11, 2020
Americans See Donald Trump As The 'Main Source' Of Coronavirus Misinformation, Poll Says

A new poll from the Knight Foundation suggests that 47 percent of Americans see Donald Trump as the "main source" of coronavirus misinformation, Raw Story reports. In comparison, 33 percent said mainstream media was the primary source of such false information, while 15 percent said social media.

As expected, the survey found that among partisans, Democrats are more likely to view Trump as the primary source of COVID-19 misinformation than Republicans.

"Partisans have clear ideas of what entities are most responsible for misinformation," the survey reads.

Interestingly, Democrats are more likely to point to Trump as the culprit of misinformation than Republicans are to blame mainstream media outlets — their top choice for the primary source of wrong information about the pandemic. As for Independents, they are equally likely to blame both the Trump administration and mainstream media.

Outside of partisans, the poll also focuses on how Americans sift through inaccurate reports to find the truth.

"Americans are about equally likely to rely on one of three approaches — consulting health professionals or information sources directly, sticking with their most trusted news sources, or looking at a wider variety of news sources than usual — to help them sort out accurate from inaccurate information," the Knight Foundation stated.

As the poll notes, young adults and older adults employ different strategies to guide them. In particular, adults under the age of 25 are more likely to use health websites and speak to healthcare professionals, while adults 55 and older typically look to one or two trusted news sources.

Trump has faced criticism for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus on numerous occasions. As The Inquisitr previously reported, this has led to clashes with coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has, on many occasions, had to correct the president's comments.

Per NBC News, the conspiracy theories linked to the pandemic — regardless of their source — have been frustrating doctors. Dr. Hadi Halazun described the feeling of working a long shift treating COVID-19 patients and then seeing a man on Facebook claim that the coronavirus is "fake news" perpetrated by media networks.

"I left work and I felt so deflated," he said. "I let it get to me."

Believers in such coronavirus conspiracy theories have reportedly harassed health care professionals both online and offline, sometimes asking for proof of the pandemic's severity. According to NBC News, several other doctors shared experiences similar to Halazun's. According to Halazun, dealing with such theorists is the "second most painful thing" he has had to deal with aside from "separation of families from their loved one."