Child Poverty on the Rise Due to COVID, Fake News Peaks in the U.S., Russia Reopening

RavenPack COVID-19 Update | June 25, 2020

In this update, news rises about poverty worsening due to coronavirus, China-U.S. ties are further strained by fake news claims, and Russia reopens for business.

Key Takeaways

  • Analysis of fallout focuses on rising levels of child poverty
  • Fake news in U.S. peaks amidst claims the Chinese press is state-controlled
  • Russia eases measures, sentiment improves in India, and Italy and Spanish COVID media hype falls to new lows

Go To Coronavirus News Monitor

Editors Focus on Impact of Virus on Child Poverty

News linking the novel coronavirus to poverty is on the rise and reached a new 3-month high last week, according to our COVID news monitor, on the back of highlighting the issue of child poverty due to fallout from the pandemic.

World Poverty Peaks

In many developing countries schools act as a focal point for community health initiatives and government-backed programs and their widespread closure means that not only have an estimated 430 million children missed out on their education, but also on other key services, including nutrition and vaccination programs.

Co-mentions of poverty and COVID also hit a 3-month peak in a more developed nation, the UK, after reports of a heated exchange between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leader of the opposition Keir Starmer during prime minister’s question time.

Poverty an Important Topic in the UK

Starmer cited a report from the Social Mobility Commission which estimated that - due to COVID-19 as well as other factors such as Brexit - 600,000 more children had fallen into poverty since 2010, and 5.2 million children could be living in poverty by 2022.

Another story from the monitor highlighted how the pandemic had been a mixed blessing for the homeless, who in the UK were provided with shelter during lockdown but now face the prospect of being forced back out on the streets.

In one particularly moving storyfrom our newsfeed, a 48-year old homeless woman spoke of how she had felt like she was entering a “fairytale” when she was provided with her own room and shower in a local youth hostel over the period of the lockdown.

More Fake News

The U.S. Fake News Index reached a 6-week high after the government officially reclassified 4 major Chinese news agencies as organs of Chinese state propaganda.

The move will probably further strain tensions between Beijing and Washington which were already tense due to the trade war.

New High in U.S. Fake News Index

Many in the U.S. government openly blamed the coronavirus outbreak on China, with some states, such as Missouri, even attempting to gain financial reparations from the Chinese.

The U.S., along with several other countries is also calling for an international investigation in the causes of the outbreak, which the Chinese have rejected.

Russia Re-Opens

Russia’s ‘Facilities Open’ topics index on the monitor is peaking on the back of a flurry of reports the country is easing lockdown measures, with terraced restaurants allowed to reopen from June 23, and museums and cinemas set to do the same by mid-July.

Russian Businesses Start Reopening

One related standout story from the monitor tells how a reopened futuristic KFC in Moscow limits direct contact between customers and staff to a minimum by employing robotic serving hands!

“After the food is cooked, a firm and precise robotic hand puts the order into the box which can be opened by a code given to the customer,” says the Reuters report featured on the New York Post website.

Highs and Lows

In both Italy and Spain, levels of media attention about the coronavirus have reached 3-month lows, according to our monitor’s Media Hype Index, which measures the percentage of all news that is COVID-19 related. In Spain, COVID-related news has also fallen below the key 50% level.

New Lows for Both Italian and Spanish Media Hype

Fake news is not on the news agenda in the UK at the moment, it turns out, as the level of the Index there has fallen to a 3-month low, suggested a ‘fourth estate’ there remains clean.

Fake News in UK Reaches 3-month Low

Finally, news sentiment in India reached a 3-month high as the country - which was one of the virus’s late adopters - appears to have been less badly hit than the global average on a case count per segment of the population basis, which in India is 6x less.

Sentiment Makes 3-month High in India

The country has now also implemented strict social distancing rules, including the mandatory wearing of face-masks, which police in Delhi are enforcing by recourse to fines, according to one particular story from the monitor.

COVID Monitor Highlights

This week, the aspect of the monitor we will be highlighting is the Geographical Exposure pane at the top, showing a map of the world color-coded to reflect intensity by the geographical distribution of various COVID-19 themes.

COVID Geographical Exposure

The map is interactive, and simply clicking on a country will lead the monitor to refresh and reflect the news analytics for that nation only.

Russia COVID Geographical Exposure

Clicking on the icon in the top right-hand corner changes the display to a table format with countries ranked by total cases.

Countries Table COVID Geographical Exposure

Users can alter the selections according to different criteria, including lower to higher, active cases, recoveries, deaths, news sentiment, and media exposure.

Filtering Table COVID Geographical Exposure

On its default setting the table ranks according to the number of cases, but in the case of the chart above it shows the table ranking by News Sentiment.

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