Global perception of US falls to two-decade low


Medical personnel direct students arriving to a Covid-19 testing tent set up at New York University in New York CityImage copyright
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Over 194,000 people have died with Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins data

America’s reputation among some allies has fallen to its lowest point in nearly two decades, according to a global survey.

The findings of the Pew Research Center poll reflect public perceptions of the US in 13 countries.

Positive views of the US has fallen to a median of 34% across the countries surveyed, and only 16% confidence in President Trump.

An overwhelming majority – 84%- said the US has handled coronavirus badly.

Though favourable views of the US has been falling in recent years, in 2020, the perceptions in several countries were the lowest Pew had seen since it began polling on the subject some 20 years ago.

In only one country surveyed – South Korea – did a majority of the public view the US favourably. Only a quarter of Germans and less than a third of Frenchmen and women view the US thus.

The majority of the public in every country surveyed did not have confidence in Mr Trump, with Belgians expressing the most scepticism – only nine percent said they had confidence in the US president.

The president’s highest rating among the countries polled was in Japan, where a quarter of those surveyed said they trusted Mr Trump.

Fewer than one in five Britons had confidence in US leader, and only 41% said they had a favourable view of the country, a nadir for the survey.

The Pew Global Attitudes survey of 13,273 people was conducted from June to August in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands.

The results of the survey come as long-term questions swirl over America’s leadership on the global stage, and as the country continues to battle coronavirus. The US has recorded over 6m cases and nearly 200,000 deaths due to Covid-19.

Dr Richard Wike, a director of the Pew survey, said: “What we’ve seen in our polling over the past few years is that many people around the world see the US stepping away from a leadership position in world affairs, and that’s had a negative impact on what they think of the country.”

This year, the dynamic has been borne out through the pandemic, as reflected in the survey.

Despite the trend, however, “people haven’t necessarily given up on the US,” Dr Wike said. “They still want the US to play a leadership role on the international stage.”



BBC News