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misinformation

Republicans are 3 times more likely than Democrats to believe falsehoods about COVID-19

A shocking number of Americans believe falsehoods about COVID-19 and the coronavirus vaccine, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll has found.

Nearly eight in 10, or 78 percent, of those polled said they either believed or were unsure about at least one false statement about COVID-19. The false statements included things like "COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility" and "the COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip."

poll graph

Kaiser Family Foundation

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the poll found a major partisan split in the findings. "Nearly half (46%) of Republicans compared to just 14% of Democrats believe or are unsure about four or more misstatements about COVID-19," writes Kaiser. And 84% of Republicans believe or are unsure whether the government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths.

Only one in five adults surveyed didn't believe any of the eight falsehoods, while nearly half believed or were unsure about one to three of them. Aside from partisan differences, the other biggest gaps were between vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans — "Unvaccinated adults are at least 20 percentage points more likely than vaccinated adults to lack knowledge about each piece of misinformation tested," says Kaiser.

Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed 1,519 U.S. adults by phone between October 14-24. The margin of error was 3 percentage points. See more survey results here.