Coronavirus has led more Europeans to believe in conspiracy theories

Coronavirus has led more Europeans to believe in conspiracy theories

Coronavirus has led more Europeans to believe in conspiracy theories

A study has revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has led to more people believing in coronavirus-related conspiracy theories. People also reported having less faith in their government’s approach to the pandemic and were worried about the economic consequences the virus will have.

Coronavirus conspiracies

People in France, Germany, Italy and Britain have become more prone to believing coronavirus conspiracy theories over the past year. A study by the Centre for Political Research at the Paris Institute of Political Sciences, which surveyed nearly 8.000 people from the aforementioned countries, has revealed the extent of support for coronavirus-related conspiracy theories.

In Germany, 31 percent of respondents believed that health ministries are helping pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers cover up the risks of taking the coronavirus vaccine. Similarly, 39 percent of German respondents believed the government was using the crisis to “control and monitor” citizens.

The distrust surrounding vaccines has undoubtedly had an effect on the number of people who are willing to take the vaccine. In Germany, only 66 percent of respondents said they are likely to or have already been vaccinated against the virus. Most people (58 percent across the four countries) said they didn’t want to take a vaccine due to possible side-effects, while 54 percent said there was not enough information on vaccines or the virus, and 25 percent said they didn’t think the vaccine would be effective.

Distrust in the government

Faith in the government’s response to coronavirus in Germany has also fallen over the past year. Only 56 percent of Germans either “wholly” or “partly” agreed with the government’s handling of the crisis, compared to 74 percent in April 2020. However, people in Germany still trust the government more than people in France, where 39 percent of respondents picked “mistrust” to describe their feelings towards politics. Similar scepticism was found in the UK (30 percent) and Italy (27 percent). Only 24 percent of Germans described their feelings towards politics as “mistrust.”

Respondents from Germany were also more confident in the economy than the respondents from other countries, although the vast majority were worried about the post-COVID economic situation. 72 percent of respondents from Germany said they were worried about the economic ramifications stemming from the pandemic, compared to 90 percent in Italy, 84 percent in France and 80 percent in the UK.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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