The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anya Silverman-Stoloff,

New Report from Media Matters: Fox News Largely Ignored National Death Toll, One They Helped Create With Misinformation and Lies

Study Analyzing Coverage of Coronavirus Reveals Fox News Complained About Health Measures 5x As Often as It Reported National Death Toll


Today, as the United States crossed over 200,000 coronavirus deaths in just over six months, Fox News continues to actively spread misinformation and lies about the virus itself and the recommended guidelines to fight it from public health experts and scientists, while ignoring and downplaying the death toll.

Read the full report HERE:

According to the report done by Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog,

  • Fox News personalities or guests reported or mentioned the coronavirus national death toll or daily death rate in just 55 segments that were about the pandemic since September 1st; by contrast, they largely spent their time complaining about coronavirus health measures, attacking them in 260 such segments.
  • Fox's "straight news" shows highlighted complaints about health measures twice as much as they reported the death toll.
  • Fox's opinion shows, reported the death toll in just seven segments while complaining about health measures in a staggering 162 segments, more than 23 times as often.

The study also shows the repeated amplification of misinformation and false attacks from Fox News about health measures taken to control the coronavirus including questioning the effectiveness of masks and calling stay-at-home orders "house arrest."

Media Matters also released a video highlighting the contrast of coverage and death toll that can be found HERE:

"Downplaying the number of American lives claimed by this virus is also a key campaign strategy of President Donald Trump's reelection efforts," writes Rob Savillo, author of the report. "By not reporting on the mounting death toll, Fox plays directly into this strategy and does another dangerous disservice to the viewing public."

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.