FACT CHECK: Did A Study Find That Americans Trust Dr. Pepper More Than Dr. Anthony Fauci?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 380 times claims a study found that Americans trust the soft drink Dr. Pepper over White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Verdict: False

There is no such study. The claim originated from a satire website.

Fact Check:

Fauci has become a popular target for misinformation on social media. This particular Facebook post, which shows a screen grab of an article, claims a study found that most Americans think the popular soft drink Dr. Pepper is more trustworthy than the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Check Your Fact found no study or poll offering such findings online. That’s because the claim originated in an article published by The Babylon Bee, a parody news website that describes itself as “the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims.” (RELATED: Is PepsiCo Discontinuing Its Mountain Dew Product Line?)

Despite The Babylon Bee clearly disclaiming the satirical nature of its pieces, social media users have shared screen grabs of the article without noting its satirical origins, a common way misinformation spreads online. Some Facebook users in the comments were able to discern the claim had no basis in fact, while others appeared to believe it. One user who shared a similar screen grab remarked, “Dr Pepper never changes its story, and is reliable!”

A September tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 68 percent of respondents said they trust Fauci “a great deal” or “a fair amount” to provide reliable information on the new coronavirus. The poll also found that “while the share of Democrats who say they trust Dr. Fauci has increased slightly since April (86%, up from 80%), among Republicans, the share who trust Dr. Fauci has decreased by 29 percentage points (48%, down from 77%).”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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