As the novel coronavirus spread around the world like wildfire earlier this year, some governments took prompt action in an attempt to contain the outbreak. South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam were among the countries praised for implementing mass testing combined with efficient tracing and isolation strategies that helped initially curb the spread of Covid-19. Elsewhere, the UK and U.S. were criticized for implementing lockdowns later and both currently remain among the worst-hit nations globally. Italy and Spain were initial European epicenters but tough lockdowns largely got their outbreaks under control, though the summer holiday season has sent infection rates spiking one again in the latter.
The Pew Research Center recently released a survey on public attitudes towards their government's pandemic response in 14 advanced economies. It found that opinion is generally positive with 73 percent median approval but that there is some variation with people in the UK and U.S. clearly divided. A majority of 54 percent in the UK disapprove of their government's response with 46 percent giving the authorities' efforts the green light. In the U.S. which has the highest number of infections of any country, a majority of 52 percent view the national response as being handled badly in comparison with 47 percent who think the government responded well. North of the border in Canada, the contrast is stark with 88 percent of the public saying that the government responded well to the crisis.