Data released Friday from a Hill-HarrisX poll indicated that more Democrats than Republicans believe news reporting about the coronavirus is accurate.
Deciphering which stories about the virus may be perceived as accurate is a difficult task as misinformation and conspiracy theories have run rampant on the internet. President Donald Trump has also faced criticism for some of his claims about coronavirus, including a question if it could be cured by ingesting disinfectants.
Results from Friday’s poll about news coverage of the virus fell along partisan lines. More than half of the Republicans polled disagreed, with 52 percent of those surveyed calling coronavirus news inaccurate.
Overall, 63 percent of those who participated in the survey said news about the coronavirus was mostly to somewhat accurate while 37 percent said the news had only been mostly to somewhat inaccurate.
Opinions for the poll were gathered online Wednesday and Thursday from 961 registered voters, with the poll carrying a margin of error of plus or minus 3.16 percent.
Friday’s poll seems to reflect a partisan bias concerning the effects of the virus on the American population. An Axios poll released in May showed a divide between Republicans and Democrats over the reported U.S. coronavirus death toll numbers.
Roughly 40 percent of Republicans polled think fewer people have died as a result of the virus than what has been reported. However, 63 percent of Democrats think the number is actually higher than published reports would indicate.
Some of the confusion concerning the coronavirus can be placed on social media posts passing themselves off as actual news.
On Friday, the social media platform Facebook banned the publisher Natural News, known for posting conspiracy theories about vaccines and the coronavirus.
“We removed these Pages for spammy and abusive behavior, not the content they posted,” Facebook said in a Friday statement. “They misled people about the popularity of their posts and relied on content farms in Macedonia and the Philippines.”
Newsweek reached out to Facebook for comment. This story will be updated with any response.
Trump raised eyebrows at an April White House coronavirus task force briefing when he seemed to suggest that the ingestion of disinfectant cleaning solutions could be a viable therapeutic treatment for the coronavirus.
“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks [the coronavirus] out in one minute,” Trump said. “And is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”
After Trump’s comments, poison control call centers in at least four states saw an increase in queries about cleaning products. In Georgia, one individual drank a mixture of pine cleaner, beer, mouthwash and pain medication. No clear link between Trump’s comments and the actions of the Georgia individual has been established.
Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of Lysol, issued a statement clarifying that “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”
Trump later said to members of the media during an April bill signing that he made the comments in a “sarcastic” fashion. “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” Trump said.