Most people across 14 wealthy countries surveyed by Pew tend to think their country has handled the pandemic well — and in Denmark and Australia that view is near-universal.
The flipside: There are two exceptions to the generally positive outlook: the U.S. and U.K. Americans were also by far the most likely to say the pandemic has divided their country (77%), rather than uniting it (18%).
Even in hard-hit countries like Italy and Belgium, which has the world's highest population-adjusted death rate, views are generally positive.
- Despite their controversial no-lockdown approach, Swedes also tend to think their country has performed well. They're also among the most likely to believe it has united their country (58%).
- Responses are overwhelmingly positive in South Korea and Germany, which have been widely praised for their strong responses to the virus.
- Danes (72%) and Canadians (66%) are most likely to say the pandemic has been unifying.
Between the lines: The polling was conducted throughout the summer, when most of these countries — but not the U.S. — had either bounced back from large initial outbreaks, or managed to avoid them.
What to watch: Several European countries have seen sharp spikes in cases in recent weeks.
- Spain now has the highest infection rate in Europe. France isn't far behind, while Italy recorded its highest single-day case total since May on Thursday.
- Death rates across Europe remain far lower than those seen in recent weeks in the U.S. and Latin America.
- While cases in the U.S. are ticking downward, America still accounted for 18% of all new cases recorded worldwide over the last week, as well as 18% of deaths.