Opinion of US, Trump plummets in Europe, Asia

Diners at a restaurant in New York City on Monday. A median of just 15 per cent of respondents from 13 nations in a survey by Pew Research Centre say the US has done a good job of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO: REUTERS
A median of just 15 per cent of respondents from 13 nations in a survey by Pew Research Centre say the US has done a good job of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.PHOTO: REUTERS

America's response to pandemic seen as poor; Trump rated more negatively than Putin and Xi

A new study shows that global positive perception of the United States has suffered a steep decline, with most saying America has mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic and giving poor ratings to President Donald Trump.

The US response to the coronavirus outbreak has further dented an already declining image abroad.

"Across the 13 nations surveyed, a median of just 15 per cent say the US has done a good job of dealing with the outbreak," said the study by Pew Research Centre.

Most respondents said that the World Health Organisation and the European Union had done a good job.

And while "relatively few think China has handled the pandemic well... it still receives considerably better reviews than the US response".

TRUMP RATED LOWER THAN PUTIN

Pew Research Centre - a non-partisan "fact tank" - compiled the report from telephone surveys of 13,273 adults in 13 advanced economies from June 10 to Aug 3.

Those surveyed were from Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Just 41 per cent in the UK expressed a favourable opinion of the US - the lowest percentage registered in any Pew survey there.

In France, only 31 per cent see the US positively, matching the low opinion the French had of the country in March 2003, at the height of disagreements over the US invasion of Iraq.

And Germans give the US particularly low marks, with only 26 per cent rating it favourably.

 

Mr Trump is seen more negatively than other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Of the six leaders included in the survey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the highest marks, with a median of 76 per cent across the nations polled having confidence in her.

French President Emmanuel Macron received largely favourable reviews, while public opinion on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was roughly split.

STRAITS TIMES GRAPHICS

 
 
 

And while ratings for Mr Putin and Mr Xi are overwhelmingly negative, they are not as negative as those for Mr Trump.

Mr Trump's most negative assessment comes from Belgium, where only 9 per cent say they have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs.

MORE LIKED BY THE RIGHT - BUT NOT BY WOMEN

Though confidence in him is relatively low among all groups, views of Mr Trump are more positive among Europeans who have favourable views of right-wing populist parties, the survey found.

And in every country surveyed, men have a more positive assessment of the US than women.

The gender gap is largest in Denmark, where 42 per cent of men rate the US favourably, compared with 26 per cent of women.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2020, with the headline 'Opinion of US, Trump plummets in Europe, Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe