Trump's tweets influence public risk perception during pandemic: study
Web Editor:國際日報 International Daily News
LONDON, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets had a polarized effect on public risk perception during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new research by British scholars has revealed.
By carrying out sentimental analysis, academics from Durham University and University of Sheffield discovered that Trump's tweets produced a noticeable partisan difference in influencing public social distancing behavior between Republican counties and Democratic counties.
Those in Republican counties tended to view the then president's sentiment as a confirmation, whereas those in Democratic counties tended to consider it as an aberration, according to the study.
The findings showed that after Trump was tested positive for COVID-19, populations in Democratic counties spent more time home, while people in Republican counties spent less time.
Thus, public risk perception regarding health-related decisions and behaviors are influenced by political positions despite the nonpartisan nature of COVID-19, the research concluded.
"The findings provide evidence that social media can be used strategically for political purposes ... Let science take the lead during a health crisis," said Michael Guo, one of the authors and chair professor in finance at Durham University. Enditem