International image of US plunges to new lows amid pandemic, according to poll

Lack of confidence in Trump matches Putin and Xi according to allies

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 16 September 2020 04:57
<p>Heads of government attending the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019</p>

Heads of government attending the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019

The image of the US overseas has suffered since the beginning of the Trump administration, but it fell to a new low this year with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a poll shows.

A 13-nation survey by Pew Research Centre shows the reputation of the US plummeting among key allies and partners.

In several countries, the percentage of the public that have a favourable view of the US is at its lowest point since the group began a survey on the topic 20 years ago.

The 13-country median with a favourable view of the US was 34 per cent of respondents, with only 16 per cent having confidence in the president, Donald Trump.

Only Spain, the UK, Japan, Italy and South Korea had a favourable view of the US exceeding 40 per cent.

Western Europeans have a particularly low opinion of the president, with only between nine and 11 per cent having confidence in him in Belgium, Germany, Denmark and France.

Japanese respondents had the most confidence in Trump, but that totalled only 25 per cent. The UK had a 41 per cent favourable view of the US and 19 per cent had confidence in Trump.

Confidence in the president is as low as with post-Katrina George W Bush. Trump is currently perceived similarly to the leaders of Russia and China, with 83 per cent having no confidence in him compared to 73 per cent for Vladimir Putin, and 78 per cent for Xi Jinping.

In terms of the pandemic, respondents were asked to say if the US had done a good job responding to the coronavirus. They were also asked the same about their own country, the World Health Organisation, the European Union, and China.

The US had a median score of 15 per cent, compared to 74 per cent for the home country, 64 per cent for the WHO, 57 per cent for the EU, and 37 per cent for China.

Only six per cent of South Korean respondents said the US had done a good job. The highest percentage of people that thought the US had handled the crisis well was 20 per cent of Spanish respondents.

The survey was conducted among 13,273 people in 13 countries – not including the US – from 10 June to 3 August, 2020.

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