Do we all understand coronavirus news coverage?

Since COVID-19 emerged as a global crisis, the news has been dominated by graphs and terms like “R numbers” and “exponential growth,” referring to the rate of spread of the disease. To what extent does the average adult understand the quantitative information appearing in the news? The results of a new study paint a gloomy picture: When asked about “math in the news” items presented to them, even people who had taken advanced mathematics classes in high school did not typically figure everything out, but obtained only an average “grade” of 72/100.

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