How far have we fallen? Too far.
An article in Tuesday’s Washington Post reveals that while President Trump is defending the “tremendous steps” that have been taken to save American lives during the pandemic, the rest of the world is calling BS.
In a new poll of 13 nations released Tuesday, a median of 15% of respondents said the United States had handled the pandemic well, while 85% said the country had responded poorly, according to the reporting by Adam Taylor.
The data, released by Pew Research Center, suggests that the international reputation of the United States has dropped to a new low in the face of a disorganized response to the novel coronavirus that saw the country come to lead the world in virus-related deaths.
International affairs analysts say it may be difficult to repair the damage to the United States’ standing overseas. Among some traditional allies like Germany, views of the United States have declined to the lowest levels since Pew began tracking them nearly two decades ago, according to the Post.
Pew surveyed 13 foreign nations, all wealthy democracies, along with the United States this summer.
According to the report, after Trump entered office in 2017, Pew found much of the world to hold a negative view of the U.S. leader, with views of the United States overall dipping in many nations.
But Pew’s latest polling suggests that the pandemic, an unprecedented global crisis, has caused views of the United States among its closest peers to slide even further.
In contrast, many respondents had positive perspectives on their own countries: Nearly three-quarters of people polled said their own governments had done a good job handling the crisis, the polling data found.
Internationally, the U.S. rating was significantly lower than the ratings for the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration has dubbed “corrupt,” and China, the epicenter of the initial outbreak, which Trump said “sent us the plague.”
According to the polling (the link of which is at the bottom of this editorial), in at least seven nations, including key allies like Britain and Japan, approval ratings for the United States plunged to record lows. In Germany, just 26% of the respondents held a positive view of the United States — the lowest rating since 2003, the year of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
According to the post, the president has proved consistently unpopular in global polls, but the pandemic appears to have worsened his international reputation. Positive ratings of Trump in Japan dropped from 36% in spring 2019 to 25% this year — still the highest of any nation surveyed.
The decline was even more pronounced in South Korea, where 46% of respondents gave Trump a positive rating in spring 2019, compared with 17% this year. South Koreans gave the U.S. handling of the pandemic the worst rating of any nation, with 6% saying the United States did a good job.
South Korea, a key U.S. ally, often polls with positive views of the United States. Apparently, the U.S. mishandling of the novel coronavirus had dented the country’s standing with South Koreans.
According to Pew, other world leaders fared better than Trump on the world stage. Though China is widely criticized for aggressive foreign policy moves and its secrecy during the early days of the pandemic, President Xi Jinping has a marginally more positive international reputation than Trump, Pew found.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, widely suspected of backing attempts at electoral interference and the assassination of dissidents, also fared better, as did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, the data shows.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, frequently criticized by Trump in recent years, was by far the most popular leader among those surveyed, with a median of 76% expressing confidence that she will do the right thing in global affairs.
The contrast between Merkel’s cautious handling of Germany’s federal system during the pandemic and Trump’s less disciplined approach heightened many Germans’ awareness of her reputation.
In 2012, the HBO series “The Newsroom” opened with a scene that has been widely circulated on the internet of a broadcast anchor losing his temper at a panel in front of college students and faculty. In it he rattles off America’s most embarrassing statistics and describes the nation’s fall from grace. “We’re not the greatest nation in the world anymore,” he concludes.
Amazing how truth mirrors fiction.
Visit bit.ly/US-Image to see complete poll results.