Large percentages of those who say MSNBC is their main source of political and election news perform relatively well on two questions testing knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 outbreak. Roughly three-quarters (78%) say that a COVID-19 vaccine would take a year or more to develop, an answer that matches what public health experts say. That puts the MSNBC group at the top with those whose main source are The New York Times (77%) or NPR (74%) in choosing that answer.
At the same time, just about half of those who name Fox News (51%) give the answer that matches the experts’, a percentage similar to the groups that rely most on the three broadcast networks — NBC (52%), ABC (53%) and CBS (53%). A modestly higher percentage of those who name CNN as their main source for political news chose the experts’ answer (57%) than those naming Fox News as their main source.
In addition, two-thirds (66%) of those who rely on MSNBC correctly answered that the coronavirus originated in nature, rather than in a laboratory. That compares with the 37% of the Fox News group who give that same answer, a response that was virtually tied with several other groups for the lowest percentage of correct answers.