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In the category of: Covid broker
Sophisticated new research links Hannity’s coronavirus misinformation to “a greater number of Covid-19 cases and deaths.”
Using both a poll of Fox News viewers over age 55 and publicly available data on television-watching patterns, they calculate that Fox viewers who watched Hannity rather than Carlson were less likely to adhere to social distancing rules, and that areas where more people watched Hannity relative to Carlson had higher local rates of infection and death.
“Greater exposure to Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight leads to a greater number of COVID-19 cases and deaths,” they write. “A one-standard deviation increase in relative viewership of Hannity relative to Carlson is associated with approximately 30 percent more COVID-19 cases on March 14, and 21 percent more COVID-19 deaths on March 28.”
This is a working paper; it hasn’t been peer reviewed or accepted for publication at a journal. However, it’s consistent with a wide body of research finding that media consumption in general, and Fox News viewership in particular, can have a pretty powerful effect on individual behavior.
In the category of: He’s not a doctor
A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.
The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 171,000 people as of Tuesday.
In the category of: Reworking the map
The pandemic and the economic dislocation it has caused is expanding the number of states in play.
The economic and political impact of the coronavirus crisis is beginning to reverberate across the presidential battleground states, creating unforeseen red-state opportunities for Joe Biden but also offering promise for Donald Trump in several Democratic-leaning states where his prospects once seemed limited.
Interviews with more than 30 political strategists, campaign advisers and officials in both parties paint a portrait of an expanded swing state electoral map, upended by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic dislocation it has caused.
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