Pew Research Center

Donald Trump is the least trusted major world leader

Trump and US global image plunge during pandemic, survey finds

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EUROPEAN PRESS GROUP

The image of the US and Donald Trump around the world has plunged from poor to the abysmal over the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a global survey.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center of more than 13,000 adults in 13 advanced economies between 10 June and 3 August shows international confidence in the US and its president sharply down across the board, reaching historical lows in several countries.

In the UK, 41% of those polled expressed a favourable opinion of the US, the lowest proportion registered by the Pew survey to date. In France, less than a third viewed the US positively, and just over a quarter of Germans surveyed, similar to the dim ratings both countries gave the US at the time of the Iraq invasion in March 2003.

The survey found Trump was the least trusted major world leader. A median of 16% of those polled in the 13 countries had confidence Trump would “do the right thing in world affairs”, putting him below Vladimir Putin (23%) and Xi Jinping (19%).

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was the most trusted leader, with a 76% confidence rating among the six leaders presented as options. Emmanuel Macron (64%) and Boris Johnson (48%) were also on the list.

The global popularity of the US has shrunk significantly since Trump took over the White House from Barack Obama in January 2017, but the downward slope has become even steeper during the pandemic.

The public in each of the 13 countries were united in seeing the US as having the worst response to the coronavirus. A median of 15% thought the Trump administration had done a good job. Its highest score was in Spain, where 20% thought it had handled the crisis well.

The 13,000 adults polled gave far higher ratings to the performance of their own countries, the World Health Organization, the EU and, in most cases, China.

The results are likely to be welcomed by the WHO in particular, as it is the target of a campaign by Trump and his administration to blame it for the pandemic.

A median of 64% assessed the organisation was doing a good job in dealing with the outbreak.

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