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Global survey: At least 8 in 10 say the U.S. has handled coronavirus "badly"

Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has suffered a steep decline in its global image and reputation in the aftermath of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey from the Pew Research Center shows.

The big picture: Since the start of the Trump administration in 2017, the global view of the U.S. has steadily declined. However, positive views of the U.S. are now at record lows according to Pew, and in none of the 13 countries surveyed "do more than a fifth think the U.S. has done at least a somewhat good job dealing with the virus."


Details: The percentage of people who have a favorable view of the U.S. dropped from 2019 to 2020 in Japan (-27), South Korea (-18), Italy (-17), Australia (-17), France (-17), the U.K. (-16), Canada (-16), the Netherlands (-16), Germany (-13), Spain (-12) and Sweden (-12). Pew also surveyed Denmark (34% favorability) and Belgium (24%), but data wasn't available for 2019.

  • At least 8 in 10 people in the 13 countries say the "U.S. has handled the virus badly."
  • Only a third of Canadians view the U.S. positively. In Germany, only 26% of people have a positive view of the U.S., and only 10% have confidence in Trump's ability to handle world affairs.
  • South Korea holds the highest views of the U.S. among the countries surveyed, and is the only one where a majority sees the U.S. positively at 59%. That's still a significant drop from 2017, when 75% of South Koreans held positive views about America.
  • In all of the Western European countries polled, support for the U.S. is higher among those who support right-wing populist parties in their own countries. Support for the U.S. is also higher among men than women.

The survey also looked at views of five world leaders in addition to Trump. Even though confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin (23%) and Chinese President Xi (19%) is extremely low, Trump (16%) still ranks below them among people in the 13 countries.

  • Confidence in German Chancellor Angela Merkel (76%), French President Emmanuel Macron (64%), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (48%) was much higher.

By the numbers: The drop in confidence in Trump from 2019 to 2020 is stark.

  • South Korea had the biggest decline at 29%, followed by Italy (16%), the UK (13%), Australia (12%), and Japan (11%).
  • France, Canada and the Netherlands saw drops in confidence ranging between 9% and 7%, while Spain, Sweden, and Germany dropped from 5% to 3% — though their confidence in 2019 was not very high to begin with.

Methodology: Pew reports the survey was conducted among 13,273 respondents in 13 countries – not including the U.S. – from June 10 to Aug. 3, 2020.

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