If there is any doubt that facts matter (see current Editorial), consider what misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines has wrought. Figure 1 below is from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report of November 8th, 2021.
With the number of deaths from COVID-19 approaching 850,000 in the U.S. and deaths over the last year concentrated in the unvaccinated population, it is estimated by the KFF that vaccine misinformation has contributed to at least 165,000 deaths since June of 2021.
Eight in Ten is the cumulative percentage of people who believe or are uncertain about at least one of the falsehoods.
The KFF article concludes: “We find…that belief in pandemic-related misinformation is widespread, with 78% of adults saying they have heard at least one of eight different false statements about COVID-19 and that they believe it to be true or are unsure if it is true or false. One-third (32%) of all adults believe or are uncertain about at least four false statements. Belief in COVID-19 misinformation is correlated with both vaccination status and partisanship, with unvaccinated adults and Republicans much more likely to believe or be unsure about false statements compared to vaccinated adults and Democrats.”
Link to KFF article: https://bit.ly/KFF-poll