Dissatisfaction with coronavirus response on the rise in U.S., Germany, poll finds

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A growing number of Germans and Americans are feeling dissatisfied with their country’s pandemic response, according to a study published Wednesday.

A Pew Research Center survey found that just 41 percent of U.S. respondents said their country had done a good job dealing with the coronavirus crisis, down from 47 percent in June. In Germany, approval remained high but also declined from 88 percent in June to 77 percent in December, when cases in the country surged.

In France and the United Kingdom, meanwhile, opinion remained fairly stable across the same time period. Brits felt slightly more positive about their country’s approach, with approval rising from 46 to 48 percent; in France, approval declined slightly, from 59 to 54 percent.

The survey was conducted between November 10 and December 23, prior to the large-scale start of vaccination campaigns — in which both the U.K. and the U.S. are currently ahead of Germany and France — as well as before the inauguration of President Joe Biden. The study polled more than 4,000 adults across the four countries.

In all four countries, a growing number of people said their lives had been upended by the pandemic. In the U.S., nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said their lives had changed a great deal or a fair amount in December, up from 67 percent in June. In France, the same figure surged from 46 to 67 percent during the same period, while in the U.K. it increased from 66 to 70 percent.

Only in Germany, fewer than half of respondents felt the coronavirus had significantly altered their lives, but the number nevertheless rose from 39 to 47 percent.

In all countries, however, a majority of women — 79 percent in the U.S., 75 percent in the U.K., 69 percent in France and 52 percent in Germany — reported a significant impact on their lives, echoing reports that women have borne the brunt of the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Brits are alone among the four nations in thinking that making the vaccine mandatory is a good idea. More than 60 percent thought that approach was acceptable.

In contrast, three-quarters of French respondents and more than 60 percent of Germans thought requiring people to get vaccinated would be unacceptable, as did 57 percent of Americans.

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