Fox News personality Sean Hannity‘s plea for viewers to “take Covid seriously” has been viewed more than 2 million times since it was uploaded to social media.
Hannity’s message after more than a year of promoting Covid denial on his program.
“Please take COVID seriously, I can’t say it enough. Enough people have died, we don’t need more deaths,” he said. “Research like crazy, talk to your doctor, your doctors, medical professionals you trust based on your unique medical history, your current medical condition and you and your doctor make a very important decision for your own safety. Take it seriously.”
“You also have a right to medical privacy, doctor-patient confidentiality is also important and it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated,” he concluded. “I believe in science and I believe in the science of vaccination.”
According to studies conducted last year by the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the University of Chicago (among others), coronavirus infection and mortality rates are higher in areas where Fox News host Sean Hannity has his widest audience.
“We are receiving an incrediblenumber of studies and solid data showing that consuming far-right media and social media content was strongly associated with low concern about the virus at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.
One study examined the difference between Hannity’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and that of fellow Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.
“Carlson warned viewers that the coronavirus might pose a serious threat from early February, while Hannity first ignored the topic on his show and then dismissed the risks associated with the virus, claiming that it was less concerning than the common flu and insisting that Democrats were using it as a political weapon to undermine the president,” researchers noted.
“Our results indicate that a one standard deviation increase in relative viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is associated with approximately 32 percent more COVID-19 cases on March 14 and approximately 23 percent more COVID-19 deaths on March 28,” the authors write, noting that the differences between the two hosts’ coverage fade considerably after March 2020.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.
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