ACROSS AMERICA — In the last 10 months, Americans chose a place on either side of a great chasm.
On one side were those who followed public health guidance regarding the coronavirus. They wore masks, socially distanced and avoided large crowds. On the other were those voicing a loud counternarrative, often led by the country's commander in chief, President Donald Trump. Masks don't work, they cried. This virus is just like the flu. The coronavirus isn't real.
It is real. More than 306,000 Americans have lost their lives to it, and more than 16.8 million have been infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Yet despite the numbers and the overwhelming strain the virus has placed on U.S. hospitals and health care providers, the false science and conspiracy theories continue to circulate.
This is why the Poynter Institute's Politifact on Wednesday decided to recognize a narrative that continues to peddle assertions that the coronavirus is fake and overhyped.
The biggest lie of 2020, according to Politifact, was any claim that denied, downplayed or disinformed about the coronavirus.
Every year, PolitiFact editors review the year’s most inaccurate statements to elevate one as the Lie of the Year. The "award" goes to a statement, or a collection of claims, that "prove to be of substantive consequence in undermining reality," the publication writes.