A new Pew Research Center survey has found that international views of the United States have deteriorated sharply in recent years, particularly since Donald Trump was elected president. The downward trend in favorability accelerated over the past year amid the botched U.S. response to the Covid-19 outbreak. In some countries, the share of the public with a favorable view of the U.S. has fallen to its lowest level since Pew first conducted the survey nearly 20 years ago. In France and Germany, favorability has declined to levels not seen since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. One of the most telling aspects of the research was the view of the U.S. coronavirus response in other countries, with the overwhelming majority of people saying Washington handled the situation badly.
The latest data from the Johns Hopkins University shows that the U.S. now has 6.6 million infections with the death toll swiftly approaching 200,000. The Trump administration was criticized for taking emergency measures including lockdowns far too late while hospitals struggled amid chronic shortages of PPE equipment. Flaws in CDC testing kits added to the chaos and the U.S. took weeks to get up to speed in mass testing. Elsewhere, countries such as South Korea and Germany got their outbreaks under control swiftly through a variety of measures such as early lockdowns along with efficient testing, isolation and tracing strategies. Their infection rates and subsequent death tolls remained relatively low compared to other countries as a result.
The survey's findings regarding international attitudes towards America's coronavirus response are damning with half or more of respondents in 11 countries stating that the U.S. handled the situation very badly. The highest share of people saying the U.S. did a good job was in Spain at 20 percent while the lowest value was recorded in South Korea at six percent. This infographic shows the situation in eight U.S. ally/partner countries with the share of the public considering America's response bad at 85 percent or higher in South Korea, Australia and Germany.