COVID-19 cases are reaching record levels yet again in the U.S., despite most developed countries around the world successfully flattening their curve and reopening without another major wave of infections. One of the big problems in the U.S., according to recent data, may be a growing indifference amid a weariness of misinformation and a news cycle dominated by the virus.
In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults in June say the outbreak has been exaggerated – an almost 10 percent increase since April. In terms of political party, respondents who identified as Republican or leaning Republican had the largest increase between April and June, going from 47 percent to 63 percent believing the outbreak has been exaggerated.
In March and April, Pew recorded that a majority of Americans were closely following updated news on COVID-19 and how it was spreading locally, nationally and globally. Since then, new surveys show Americans’ interest has quickly dissipated, going from 46 percent in May to just 39 percent of U.S. adults saying they’re closely following COVID-19 news in June.
Other data from this Pew survey show how misinformation is coursing through the country, with nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults saying they’re finding it hard to identify truth from fiction regarding COVID-19. A growing percentage of Americans are also paying more attention to the conspiracy that the coronavirus outbreak was planned by “powerful people.”