A Swiss study found that in May and June, “higher local viewership of Fox News Channel has been associated with lower local vaccination rates” for viewers under 65.
The study, by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, concluded that viewers under 65 are the ones affected by Fox’s anti-vaxx rhetoric:
Our results show that Fox News is reducing COVID-19 vaccination compliance in the United States, with no evidence of the other major networks having any effect. … Supporting analysis suggests that slanted media rhetoric is linked to vaccination hesitancy, producing significant behavioral effects in the share of the population that is younger than 65 years with low health risks.
Overall, an additional weekly hour of Fox News viewership for the average household accounts for a reduction of 0.35 to 0.76 weekly full vaccinations per 100 people during May and June 2021. This result is not only driven by Fox New’s conservative and anti-science messaging, but also by the network’s skeptic coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The vast majority of COVID deaths now are among unvaccinated, younger individuals. In other words, watching Fox could be fatal.
Carlson image via screen grab (Carlson for 050721)
What may have dampened their ardor, however, was the rather sudden appearance of physical violence at their rallies last week. The rallies protested against a new rule that, as of September 1st, anybody wanting to board a train or plane must present proof of vaccination or a recent test (the so-called “Green Pass”). The would-be leaders of the no-vaxx movement called for a massive effort to shut down the national railway services. They got absolutely no traction: 2 people in Naples, the best showing was about 30 people in a couple of other places. The only “town” with about 3.500 participants doesn’t actually exist.
This rather surprising result may be put down to recent assaults by a few rally participants against the police, journalists and by-standers. I wish the GOP base were as smart as our no-vaxx folks.