FACT CHECK: Did A Survey Find 38% Of Americans Won’t Drink Corona Beer Over Coronavirus Concerns?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

The Daily Mail published an article Feb. 28 with the headline claiming a survey found 38 percent of Americans won’t drink Corona beer as “coronavirus fear sparks Corona BEER boycott.”

“More than 38 percent of American say they will no longer drink Corona beer,” reads the Facebook post.

Verdict: False

The survey found that 38 percent of beer-drinking – not all – Americans said they would not buy Corona beer.

Fact Check: 

The PR firm 5W Public Relations released the results of a survey on Friday that asked American beer drinkers their opinions about Mexican lager Corona “as a result of the deadly coronavirus that’s spreading around the world.” The survey comes roughly a month after Google Trends noted an increase in “corona beer virus,” “beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” searches online.

On the same day of the survey’s release, the Daily Mail published an article with the headline saying, “Coronavirus fear sparks boycott of Corona BEER as survey finds 38 percent of Americans say they now won’t drink the lager.” That headline, however, misrepresents the findings of the survey.

The phone survey of 737 beer-drinking Americans found 38 percent said they would not buy it “under any circumstances now.” Among those who indicated they regularly drink Corona, 4 percent said they would stop drinking it, and 14 percent said they wouldn’t order it in public. The survey also found that 16 percent of “beer-drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus.”

Ronn Torossian, the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, gave the Daily Caller a list of “yes” or “no” questions that the firm asked:

  • “Do you drink beer?”
  • Would you buy Corona Beer under any circumstances now?”
  • If you usually drink Corona Beer, will you continue drinking it?”
  • Would you order it in a public venue?”
  • “Are you confused about whether Corona Beer is related to the Corona Virus?”

According to The Dispatch and The Atlantic, other questions asked in the survey included “Is Corona related to the coronavirus?” and “In light of the coronavirus, do you plan to stop drinking Corona?” Torossian did not give The Atlantic the results for those questions.

The press release did not provide the complete list of survey questions, the results of the all asked questions or the survey’s margin of error. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims Rhino Horns Are The Source Of The Novel Coronavirus)

The claim that 38 percent of Americans won’t buy Corona over concerns about coronavirus appears to have originated with a CNN tweet that misrepresented the results of the survey. CNN also included the inaccurate statistic in the body of a Feb. 28 article.

“38 percent of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona beer ‘under any circumstances’ because of coronavirus, according to a recent survey,” CNN International tweeted. “Just to be abundantly clear: There is no link between the virus and the beer.”

Other media outlets posted articles with similarly misleading headlines.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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