International confidence in US leadership plummets under Trump, especially during the war against the coronavirus pandemic

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks Friday, June 5, 2020, at Puritan Medical Products in Guilford, Maine. | Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

BEFORE Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016, the nations and people of the free world looked up to America to lead the global community in matters of shared concerns like peace, human rights, hunger, the threat of nuclear arms, climate change, protection of the environment and pandemics. That was then.

But now, a big majority of people living outside the United States do NOT trust Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, with fewer than one-third expressing confidence in him.

Surveying 32 countries, “a median of 64% say they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, while just 29% express confidence in the American leader,” according to Pew Research Center.

The study finds that “anti-Trump sentiments are especially common in Western Europe: Roughly three-in-four or more lack confidence in Trump in Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands. He also gets especially poor reviews in Mexico, where 89% do not have confidence in him.”

Comparing the view and confidence of the world, in the United States and in Trump’s predecessor, Pew Research Survey revealed that “in nearly all nations where trends are available, Trump receives lower ratings than his predecessor, Barack Obama. As reported by the Center in 2017, international confidence in the U.S. president plummeted after Trump’s inauguration, while favorable ratings for the United States also declined.”

The current medical emergency that has hit the global community just reinforced the mistrust and confidence in Trump, whose incompetence, ignorance about science, denial of facts, and selfish interests have pulled the country down with him in his quagmire.

Imagine the United States is now in the same level as his Russian and Brazilian counterparts, Vladimir V. Putin and Jair Bolsonaro, both of whom, according to a report by the New York Times, have “followed what critics call a comparable path in their pandemic response that leaves all three countries in a similarly bad spot: they were dismissive at the outset of the crisis, slow to respond to scientific advice and saw a boom of domestic cases as other parts of the world, notably in Europe and Asia, were slowly managing to get their outbreaks under control.”

Consequently, as the officials of the European Union are now “racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases — Americans, so far, are excluded.” This news was based on the draft lists reviewed by The New York Times.

The Times reported that the “EU is prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge.”

While the United States provides the EU nations with tourists that boost the bloc’s economy, the consideration leaned headily on what would keep the people of the bloc more protected from a resurgence of the COVID-19 infection, unless the future numbers change for the better in the future.

“Countries on the E.U. draft lists have been selected as safe based on a combination of epidemiological criteria. The benchmark is the E.U. average number of new infections — over the past 14 days — per 100,000 people, which is currently 16 for the bloc. The comparable number for the United States is 107, while Brazil’s is 190 and Russia’s is 80, according to a Times database,” the report said.

As the country’s highest leader, Trump is responsible for the American lives lost and for the continued upswing in the number of confirmed cases in the United States. Had he acted on warnings of the U.S.’ own intelligence agencies and the World Health Organization on the possible escalation to being a pandemic of the coronavirus instead of calling it a “hoax” fabricated by the Democrats to kick him out of office;

Had Trump not been consumed by his “economic numbers” that he needed to boast for his re-election bid and instead followed the country’s top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’ own health officials and scientists on the need for protective gears, social distancing, and not rush to open the U.S. economy to help mitigate the spread and not overwhelm our health systems, then more lives could have been saved.

But NO. Trump continues to defy science, facts, data by pushing through with his failed comeback campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he wanted a big crowd of adoring fans with no masks just to show off and energize his base.
And he really thought not doing more testing will save lives because there would be no measure of confirmed cases? How stupid is this prescription! This is not like his sex scandals whereby when he pays people to be quiet, the scandal never happened! We are talking about the lives of the American people here, for God’s sake!

Trump’s approval rating in the U.S.
Here in the United States,  President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has fallen to 39 percent, down among ALL party groups, and especially so for his handling of issues that matter to the American people.

According to the Gallup Poll conducted during the period May 28-June 4,  this finding includes drops of seven percentage points among Republicans (to 85%) and independents (to 39%), and nine points among Democrats (to 5%). Moreover, Republicans’ approval of Trump is the lowest it has been since September 2018 (also 85%).

On specific issues, Gallup Poll reports:
Forty-seven percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of the economy, a decline from 63% in January and 58% in February. Approval of Trump’s handling of the economy had not been under 50% since November 2017, when 45% approved.

Americans are also increasingly critical of the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic itself. Currently, 42% approve of the way Trump has handled the matter, down from 50% in the prior reading in late April, and 60% just after coronavirus infections spiked in many areas of the country in mid-March.

Also, 41% of U.S. adults approve of the president’s handling of foreign affairs, seven points lower than the previous measure in February. The current approval rating on foreign affairs nearly matches the 40% average approval on this issue throughout his presidency.

Public anger over the Floyd killing and racial injustice more generally have proven to be a significant challenge for the president, in addition to the ongoing challenges for society and the economy arising from the coronavirus.

His current level of approval would make another term as president unlikely, given the historical relationship between job approval ratings and incumbent reelection. With five months to go before Election Day, there is still time for those ratings to improve and get back near the 50% level associated with incumbent reelection in the past, but also time for them to get worse and give the president even longer odds of winning a second term.

ENOUGH, AMERICA. We need to wake up. We cannot afford four more years of this madness, selfishness and disrespect to the lives of Americans in Trump’s own reality show.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to and

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