You might have seen this CNN story floating around claiming that 38 percent of Americans are not drinking Corona beer for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
38% of Americans wouldn't buy Corona beer "under any circumstances" because of the coronavirus, according to a recent survey.
Just to be abundantly clear: There is no link between the virus and the beer. https://t.co/xNUnkZvwtE
— CNN International (@cnni) February 28, 2020
This has led to some stories with almost facetious headlines in the form of PSAs telling people that partaking of Corona beer will not lead to getting the virus.
There's no known link between Corona beer and coronavirus https://t.co/KYNP9HfaWD
— KTLA (@KTLA) February 29, 2020
But, HuffPo claims that the survey is not very trustable.
Here's a look at the botched survey design and reporting behind that buzzy-but-dubious finding that 38% of Americans stopped drinking Corona beer because of the coronavirus, complete with a few requisite, terrible puns. And now I need a drink. https://t.co/yQ8qmKtP5F
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) February 29, 2020
For one, it says the questions asked in the survey were vaguely-phrased, confusing and could have easily led to misconceptions on the part of those answering.
Second, it says that three key questions, including the one from which the statistic was derived, don’t even mention the coronavirus as motivation not to drink the beer.
And the HuffPo story also makes the point that the poll surveyed 737 beer-drinking Americans via phone.
Here are the questions asked (via Huffington Post and The Dispatch):
- Are you a beer drinker?
- Are you a Corona drinker?
- Is Corona related to the coronavirus? (16% of beer-drinkers were “confused” about this.)
- In light of the coronavirus, do you plan to stop drinking Corona? (4% who “usually drink Corona” said they planned to stop.)
- Would you buy Corona in a store?
- Would you order a Corona in a restaurant/bar/public venue? (14% who “usually drink Corona” said they would not.)
- Would you buy Corona under any circumstances now? (38% of “beer-drinking Americans” said they would not.)
Guess we’ll have to draw our own conclusions as to whether we really think over a third of all Americans would stop drinking a beer brand because a virus has the same name.
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