Early in Outbreak, Americans Cited Claims About Risk Level and Details of Coronavirus as Made-Up News

During the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, about half of Americans (48%) said they had encountered at least some completely made-up news about it. Another 32% said “not much” when asked how much made-up pandemic news they had seen or heard.

A new, deeper study of open-ended responses to a survey of U.S. adults conducted March 10-16, 2020, as part of Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project, analyzes the specific storylines or claims about COVID-19 that Americans said they were exposed to.

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