‘Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America ‘is gone’ after pandemic: poll

Randal Thom, 60, of Minnesota, waves a large flag of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in front of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

The Washington Post

A survey of thousands of Europeans found that the majority have an increasingly negative view of the US as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with only 2% of Europeans surveyed expressing the opinion that the US was a “useful” ally in the fight against COVID-19.

The survey of 11,000 respondents in nine European countries, commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), showed that in almost every country surveyed, there was an increasingly negative perception of the US.

In Denmark, Portugal, France, Germany and Spain, about two-thirds of those surveyed said their view of the United States had worsened during the health crisis, the ECFR group of experts, which provides research on foreign policy, said Monday. and European security. .

This opinion was particularly strong in France and Germany, where 46% and 42% respectively said that their opinion of the United States had worsened “greatly” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Poland and Bulgaria were the only countries where most people said that there was “no change” in their vision of the United States.

Trump’s America

“The proportion of respondents who considered the United States to have been a key ally during the crisis was very small, with the highest proportion in Italy at just 6%,” the report compiled from the findings, written by policy experts exterior of the ECFR. Susi Dennison and Pawel Zerka, they noted.

“In a terrifying world, you are looking for friends. But Europeans are not sure who to trust. As a 2019 pan-European ECFR survey showed, Europeans preferred the idea of ​​an EU that was strong enough not to be forced to choose sides in a conflict but ultimately they would generally side with the United States over any other ally. Now, Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America is gone. “

The report’s authors said many of those surveyed said they were “appalled” by the United States’ response to addressing the coronavirus crisis globally, although the White House has repeatedly denied that it has mishandled the pandemic.

The survey also found that Covid-19 had increased negativity in Europeans towards Russia (perceived to have had no active international role in solving the crisis) and China, where the pandemic was first reported in December. This was particularly true in France and Denmark, where 62% of respondents reported a more negative view of China.

Interestingly, 25% of people surveyed in Italy saw China as the most useful ally in the crisis, a result that could be due to China sending ventilators, medical experts and personal protective equipment to Italy, where the outbreak of Europe emerged. in February.

‘Only in the world’

The report’s authors said the coronavirus crisis seemed to have fueled public support for the European Union to take more coordinated steps to address global threats, and that Europeans had realized “that they are alone in the world.”

However, few respondents had a positive opinion of the EU coronavirus response, and when asked “who has been your country’s biggest ally during the coronavirus crisis”, most respondents from seven countries responded ” no one”.

“The Covid-19 crisis has trapped the European public with the reality that European politicians have suspected this to be the case for a time. Europeans are ultimately alone and vulnerable,” said the report’s author, Susi. Dennison.

“Europeans have assimilated the fact that the US is no longer necessarily a friend to Europe in times of need. As Germany takes over the EU Presidency next month, this major shift in public opinion towards the US “It can push European governments to pursue it. A more independent line in rebuilding the international order after Covid-19.”

The pan-European survey was conducted in the field by Datapraxis and YouGov in nine EU member states in the last week of April 2020 and through early May. In France and Germany, 2,000 people in each country were surveyed, and in Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, 1,000 people were surveyed in each country.


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