Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, public health officials have warned about the dangers of a parallel “infodemic” — the spread of conspiracy theories, misinformation and disinformation about the virus.

Some of that misinformation has been spread by media outlets that have benefited from the federal government’s COVID-19 relief program.

According to a joint analysis conducted by our team at Alethea Group and the nonprofit Global Disinformation Index, at least five companies behind some of the internet’s top sources of false, misleading or conspiratorial information related to COVID-19, including the Epoch Times, Newsmax and the Federalist, received sizable loans from the federal government as part of the Paycheck Protection Program.

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