The Coronavirus pandemic is so widespread that reliable patterns have begun to emerge in the data. This is what happens when you have a situation like this, where nearly 800,000 Americans have tested positive for Coronavirus as of this morning on April 21st.
And what the data is showing is shocking but also not that surprising. The University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics just published a new study that simply surveyed and took data from people who watch Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
The reason they looked at these two Fox News shows is simple. Carlson began warning about Coronavirus weeks before Hannity, so researchers had the opportunity to do an apples to apples comparison of how what each of these hosts said impacted their right wing viewers.
“Carlson warned viewers about the threat posed by the coronavirus from early February, while Hannity originally dismissed the risks associated with the virus before gradually adjusting his position starting late February,” Leonardo Bursztyn of the University of Chicago and his co-authors say in their study.
What they ultimately found in the data was simple; people who watched Carlson got warnings earlier and thus they started taking the risks from Coronavirus more seriously before the people who watched Hannity started taking the risks seriously. The data even shows that areas of the country that prefer Hannity over Carlson have higher death rates from COVID! This truly remarkable data, especially because it lines up with what your common sense would be.
“Already by mid March we see a statistically significant difference, that there are greater case loads in places that favor Hannity over Tucker,” the study says. “Then weeks later, we see a similar trajectory increase for deaths.”
This is a world first study because the state of the nation is unique. The only way you could conduct a survey like this is with something as nationwide as Coronavirus because you need enough data to reliably prove the impact of how these hosts influenced their viewers.
The hidden part of this story is that if the data shows that people who watched Hannity ended up being at higher risk of contracting the virus due to him downplaying it, then wouldn’t the same apply to Trump? Trump certainly was able to reach more people than Hannity, so why would he be immune (no pun intended) from the same data phenomenon we see here with Hannity?
Not to mention, it is known that Donald Trump and Hannity are very, very close confidants. What are the odds that Hannity downplayed Corona because that’s what Trump was talking to him about? The odds are high. This is why House Democrats are already in their early stages of looking into the Trump administration’s response to the Coronavirus.