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US virus death rate lower than much of Europe, yet 38% think America doing 'worse'

Mortality data from Johns Hopkins University show the United States has a stronger performance in preventing deaths than Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.

Updated: May 7, 2020 - 11:48pm

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Just the News Poll, Has the United State's Response to the COVID-19 crisis been better than other countries?
Just the News Daily Poll
With Scott Rasmussen
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Johns Hopkins observed case-fatality ratio
Johns Hopkins observed case-fatality ratio
(Johns Hopkins University)
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Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 population
Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 population
(Source: Johns Hopkins University)

The U.S. death rate  for coronavirus is lower than many European countries, yet 38% of American voters think the United States is doing a "worse job" in handling COVID-19  according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Twenty-one percent of voters nationwide (21%) believe the U.S. has handled the coronavirus better than other nations while 38% say worse.

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Just the News Poll, Has the United State's Response to the COVID-19 crisis been better than other countries?
Just the News Daily Poll
With Scott Rasmussen

"It is highly unlikely that many voters have done a serious comparison to how other nations have handled the situation," Rasmussen said. "And, the countries we included in our list took a variety of approaches. So this is not an expression of some policy preference or desire to follow a particular role model. It’s more likely a reflection of domestic political perceptions. As such, it will be interesting to see if the perceptions shift over time in response to new conditions or if they remain driven by partisan views."

Mortality data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center show the United States has a stronger performance in preventing deaths (e.g. a lower "observed case-fatality ratio") than Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Johns Hopkins observed case-fatality ratio
Johns Hopkins observed case-fatality ratio
(Johns Hopkins University)

Johns Hopkins also reported that the U.S. has fewer deaths per capita than those same countries, with far lower coronavirus-deaths-per-100,000 population.

Image
Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 population
Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 population
(Source: Johns Hopkins University)

Rasmussen noted "a decidedly partisan tint to the numbers." A plurality of Republicans (40%) believe that the U.S. has done better than other nations, while most Democrats (58%) believe we have done worse.

The Just the News poll found that older voters (55+) are evenly divided on the United States' coronavirus performance and that younger voters are much more pessimistic.

"I looked at these results in conjunction with some other data from the survey and found a strong correlation between perceptions of whether the worst of the pandemic is behind us or still to come," Rasmussen said. "Among those who thing the worst is behind us, 41% believe we’ve done better than other nations while 17% say worse. Those who think the worst is yet to come have the opposite view. Just 12% of these voters believe the US has done better while 55% say the opposite."

Respondents were asked "Countries like England, France, Italy, and Sweden have tried different approaches to combating the coronavirus. In terms of responding to the crisis, would you say the United States has done a better job than these countries, a worse job, or about the same?" They replied as below:

  • 21% Better
  • 38% Worse
  • 29% About the Same
  • 12% Not Sure

The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted April 30-May 2, 2020 by Rasmussen, a polling veteran. Margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8% for full sample. 

To see the full demographic cross-tabulations for this polling question, click below:

To see the methodology and sample demographics for this polling question, click below:

 

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