Most Americans believe the US has handled the coronavirus pandemic badly according to a poll of advanced international economies.

US and UK nationals were the only countries to give their national response a net negative, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center.

The same survey found that Americans, by a large margin, believe the country is more divided than before the coronavirus outbreak.

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A majority of Americans believe their country has handled the coronavirus pandemic badly, according to a major new survey of fourteen advanced economies, which found US and UK nationals are the least satisfied with their country’s response.

Twelve of fourteen countries surveyed by the US-based think tank the Pew Research Center gave their government’s a net positive rating when asked whether they had done a “good” or “bad” job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Public approval of the government’s handling of the coronavirus was highest in Denmark (95% good, 5% bad), Australia (94% good, 6% bad), and Canada (88% good, 11% bad). The median rating across the fourteen countries surveyed was 73% good, 27% bad.

However, in the US and the UK a majority said the pandemic had been handled badly in their country.

In the US, 52% said the Trump administration had handled the outbreak badly and 47% said the opposite. Meanwhile 54% of UK respondents said Boris Johnson’s Conservative government had done a bad job, while 46% said it had done a good job. 

Two of the think tank’s researchers Kat Devlin and Aidan Connaughton noted that the US and UK have “high levels of political polarization” compared to other countries surveyed.

76% of Republican supporters and independents who favour the Republican Party said the Trump administration had done a good job, but just a quarter of Democrats said the same. Similarly, in the UK 55% of people who support Johnson’s Conservative party said his government had done a good job in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, while just 26% of people who support the Labour Party and other opposition parties said the same.

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The US has had more deaths linked to coronavirus than any other country in the world. 184,803 people there had died after catching the virus as of Friday morning. With 41,447, the UK has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe.

Both President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson are under intense pressure from political opponents over their responses to the pandemic.

In the US, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has accused Trump of overseeing the world’s worst response to the coronavirus, while in the UK the opposition Labour Party has branded Johnson’s government “incompetent” amid a series of U-turns on issues like face coverings and exam grades for children affected by the virus.

The same research found that the US felt more than any other country surveyed that it was more divided now than before the coronavirus outbreak. 77% of respondents said the country was more divided, compared to just 18% who said it was more united. This is in stark contrast to Denmark, where 75% of respondents said the country was more united and 25% said it had become more divided.

The Pew Research Center interviewed 14,276 people across fourteen countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. between June 10 and August 3. The margin of error ranges from 3.1 to 4.2% across the countries surveyed.

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