A quarter of Americans think the US response to COVID-19 has been better than most other countries’

Jamie BallardData Journalist
March 02, 2021, 1:45 PM UTC

As the US reached a grim milestone of 500,000 Americans dead of COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview that the US has "done worse than most any other country" when it comes to COVID-19. Do Americans agree?  
 
A YouGov poll of more than 5,000 US adults finds that 45% of Americans think the US response to COVID-19 has been worse than that in other countries. About one-quarter (26%) think the US response was better than most other countries, and 20% think it has been about the same.  

As ever, there are differences between Democrats’ and Republicans’ perceptions. While six in 10 (60%) Democrats believe the US response has been worse than the responses in other countries, only 19% of Republicans feel the same way. The most common view among Republicans is that the US response has been better (44%) than most, while another 29% think it was about on par with other places. Independents tend to think America’s response to COVID-19 has been worse (44%) than other countries, rather than better (26%).  

Data from YouGov’s COVID-19 tracker finds that as of February 2021, 47% of Americans believe the government is handling the issue of coronavirus “very well” or “somewhat well.” Approval of how the government is managing COVID-19 is higher in most other countries included in the tracker, save for Spain (28% approve), France (33%), Sweden (39%) and the UK (43%).   

Additional data from September 2020 found that Americans largely believe the US did a worse job of addressing COVID-19 than several other European and Asian countries. All of the countries surveyed at the time agreed, saying they believed their country had handled COVID-19 better than the US had.  

Related: Worry about COVID-19 infection drives desire for the vaccine 

Methodology: 5,643 US adults were surveyed between February 23 - 24, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.   

Image: Getty