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Poll: U.S. image hits record low linked to handling of COVID-19

The U.S. image worldwide has declined this year with most countries saying it has responded poorly to COVID-19 pandemic. File Photo by Stefani Reynolds/UPI
The U.S. image worldwide has declined this year with most countries saying it has responded poorly to COVID-19 pandemic. File Photo by Stefani Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. image has hit a record low in some countries in part linked to bad ratings for its COVID-19 response, a new poll shows.

Ratings of the United States reached a record low in six countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, the poll released Tuesday shows.

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Only 41% of Britons had a favorable view of the United States this year, the lowest percentage registered since the Pew Research Center began the survey on the topic about two decades ago. Global attitudes toward the United States in Britain reflected that 83% of Britons had a favorable view about 20 years ago.

In France, only 31% had a favorable opinion of the United States, down from 62% decades ago, and the lowest rating since March 2003, at the height of U.S.-France tensions over the Iraq War. In Germany, only 26% had a favorable view of the United States, also the lowest rating since March 2003.

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The U.S. image in Canada has also declined to less than half as favorable as it was two decades ago, at 35% this year compared with 72%. In Australia, the favorable rating fell from 59% to 33%, and in Japan from 77% to 41%, over the same time period.

Analysts said part of the decline over the past year was linked to how the United States has handled the COVID-19 pandemic with most people in the 13 countries surveyed saying that the country has responded poorly. No more than a fifth of respondents in any of the countries polled said the United States has done even a somewhat good job handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

All 13 countries had mostly poor ratings for President Donald Trump with the highest rating being in Japan where only 25% of respondents said that they had confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs.

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Trump was less trusted than leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China to do the right thing regarding world affairs, according to the Pew Research Center.

In Western Europe, confidence was much higher in his predecessor Barack Obama, analysts said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the most trusted current world leader in the survey with a median of 76% having confidence in her to do the right thing in world affairs.

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