Trump's image suffers massive blow internationally as key nations slam America's Covid-19 response: Survey
In nations like the UK, Spain, France and Germany, Trump’s negative ratings are similar to those received by George W Bush, who was at the helm during the controversial Iraq War
While President Donald J Trump continues to battle at home accusations of failure in handling the coronavirus pandemic that has affected more than 6.6 million people in the US, a new survey has shown that America’s image, along with the president's reputation, has suffered a blow abroad as well. Just days after an interview with Watergate reporter Bob Woodward revealed that the president downplayed the virus despite knowing its deadly threat because he did not want people to panic, the survey conducted by Pew Research Center has said the US’s reputation has declined in the eyes of many of its key allies and partners, thanks to its response to the pandemic.
According to the 13-nation survey, the number of people having a favorable view of the US is as low as it has been at any point since Pew started its polling on the topic almost two decades ago.
In Germany, for instance, only 26 percent hold a favorable view of the US, compared to 78 percent nearly 20 years ago. In the UK, one of the oldest allies of the US, only 41 percent showed a favorable opinion about the US -- the lowest recorded in any Pew survey. In France, the US’s favorability was even low as only 31 percent saw the country positively, equalling the poor ratings from March 2003 when Washington and Paris had a sour relationship over the Iraq War. Germans also had given a poor 25 percent favorability rate to the US around the same time.
A median 15% felt US did a good job in handling pandemic
According to the survey, part of the decline of the US’s image abroad is linked to the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic. Across the countries covered under the survey, a median of only 15 percent felt the US leadership did a good job in dealing with the disease. The World Health Organization and European Union received better ratings on the other hand while people in almost all the nations covered in the survey gave positive marks to their own country’s dealing with the crisis (the UK and US being exceptions).
While a relatively lower number felt China handled the pandemic well, it received a better review compared to America’s response. The country that gave the highest favorability rate to the US is South Korea, one of Washington’s closest allies, with 59 percent approval. The US’s other ally in Asia – Japan – showed the highest confidence in President Trump (25 percent) in dealing with the crisis. Belgium harbored the least favorability image for the US at 24 percent while it showed only nine percent confidence in the president.
The attitude towards Trump has been much more negative than what his predecessor Barack Obama had enjoyed, especially in Western Europe. In nations like the UK, Spain, France and Germany, Trump’s ratings are similar to those received by the last Republican president before him – George W Bush – who was at the helm during the controversial Iraq War.
However, all's not lost for Trump. The survey also showed that he has a more positive review among Europeans who back right-wing populist parties though the overall confidence is still on the lower side among all groups. Forty-five percent of the supporters of Spain’s Vox Party are confident about Trump’s ability to handle international affairs as against seven percent who do not back Vox.