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US international image plunges to new lows amid pandemic, survey finds

Heads of government attending the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, in August 2019 (Getty Images)

The image of the United States abroad has suffered since the start of the Trump administration, but it has fallen to a new low this year with the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll.

A survey conducted in 13 countries by the Pew Research Center shows that the reputation of the United States is in free fall among major allies and partners.

In several countries, the percentage of the public who have a favorable opinion of the United States is at its lowest since the group launched a survey on the subject 20 years ago.

The median of the 13 countries with a favorable opinion of the United States was 34% of those polled, with just 16% trusting President Donald Trump.

Only Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy and South Korea have a favorable opinion of the United States of over 40 percent.

Western Europeans have a particularly low opinion of the president, with only 9-11% trust in him in Belgium, Germany, Denmark and France.

Japanese respondents trusted Trump the most, but that totaled only 25%. The UK had a 41% favorable opinion of the US and 19% trusted Trump.

Confidence in the president is as low as it was after Katrina George W Bush. Trump is currently viewed in the same way as the leaders of Russia and China, with 83% having no confidence in him compared to 73% for Vladimir Putin and 78% for Xi Jinping.

Regarding the pandemic, respondents were asked to say whether the United States had done a good job in responding to the coronavirus. They were also asked the same question about their own country, the World Health Organization, the European Union and China.

The United States had a median score of 15%, compared to 74% for the country of origin, 64% for the WHO, 57% for the EU and 37% for China.

Only six percent of South Korean respondents said the United States had done a good job. The highest percentage of people who thought the United States had handled the crisis well was 20% of Spanish respondents.

The survey was conducted among 13,273 people in 13 countries – not including the United States – from June 10 to August 3, 2020.

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