Study plumbs the influence of Ig Nobel Medical Education Prize winner Trump

A new study identifies and tries to quantify the influence of one of this year’s nine co-winners of the Ig Nobel Prize for Medical Education: Donald Trump.

The study is “Coronavirus misinformation: quantifying sources and themes in the COVID-19‘ infodemic,’ ” by Sarah Evanega, Mark Lynas, Jordan Adams, and Karinne Smolenyak. The authors, at Cornell University and Cision Global Insights, explain:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded alongside what the World Health Organization has termed an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation.This study identifies and analyzes the most prominent topics of COVID-related misinformation… We found that media mentions of US President Donald Trump within the context of COVID-19 misinformation made up by far the largest share of the infodemic. Trump mentions comprised 37.9% of the overall misinformation conversation, well ahead of any other topics.We conclude that the President of the UnitedStates was likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation ‘infodemic’ “.

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for Medical Education was awarded on September 17 to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Narendra Modi of India, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, for using the Covid-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.

The New York Times and other media present news about the new study.