The President of the United States, Republican Donald Trump, was perhaps the person who has contributed the most to the spread of disinformation about the pandemic, according to a study released Thursday by Cornell University.
According to this academic institution, the Cornell University Alliance for Science analyzed around 38 million articles, published in English, in traditional media, between January 1 and January 26. May 2020.
The survey includes articles published in particular in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as some countries in Africa and Asia.
The results are explained in the 13-page scientific article “Disinformation on the coronavirus: quantification of the sources and themes of Covid-19” infodemic “”. The phenomenon has been called “infodemic”, that is to say “pandemic of disinformation”, by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Alliance for Science found a total of 522,400 published articles with false information related to the disease pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
We have found that media mentions of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, as part of disinformation about Covid-19, constitute by far the largest part of the “infodemic”, “the study explains.
Trump’s mentions make up “37.9% of all” fake news on Covid-19.
For this reason, Cornell University concluded that the President of the United States “was probably the biggest transmitter of ‘infodemic’ of disinformation” about Covid-19.
However, the report also states that only 16.4% of the misinformation disseminated on the web has been verified, “suggesting that the majority of the misinformation on Covid-19 has been transmitted by the media without being questioned nor corrected ”.
Among the various false information on the pandemic linked to Trump, the most widespread was the suggestion of the American head of state, on April 24, of an injection of disinfectant to fight against the new coronavirus.
The promotion of hydroxychloroquine as an effective drug in the prevention and alleviation of SARS-CoV-2 was also one of Trump’s most widespread misinformation.
Conspiracy theories and purported cures for Covid-19 are the most abundant topics in the “sea of disinformation” about the pandemic.