Support for government responses to the new coronavirus crisis is eroding in several countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Japan, according to an international study. The populations are largely in favor of wearing a mask.
The study, published on Saturday by the KekstCNC firm and conducted in six countries (France, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, United States and Sweden), shows this downward trend compared to June. Thus, in the United Kingdom, only 35% of those polled positively judge the government’s action, ie 3 points less than in June.
Support for the government is also declining in the United States, with 44% dissatisfied (instead of 40% in mid-June) or in Japan where more than one in two respondents (51%, against 50%) believes that the authorities are managing badly the crisis. The French, on the other hand, are more satisfied (+6 points) with the government’s action, even if they remain generally dissatisfied at 41%.
The study also reveals broad public support for wearing a mask. 73% of French people believe that it should be mandatory in enclosed public places, a measure now in force, against 68% of Japanese or 65% of British people.
Even in the United States, where the subject is debated, 63% of respondents are in favor of wearing a mask. Only Sweden (37%) is an exception on this subject. The mask is almost absent from public places and the authorities do not recommend its wearing anyway.
The survey was also interested in the perception of the epidemic by the populations compared to reality. Everywhere, it appears that the population greatly overestimates the extent of the pandemic. Thus, according to the British respondents, 22% of the population have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, where the number of officially recorded cases represents less than 0.5% of the population.
Fear of a second wave
Americans estimate the share of the population infected at 20%, at least sixteen times more than the official number of recorded cases.
The trend is even stronger regarding the perception of the number of deaths due to Covid-19. In Germany, for example, respondents estimate the number of deaths within the population at 3%, 300 times more than the reality.
Finally, the inhabitants of the six countries questioned all share the fear of a second wave of the epidemic. More than three in four Britons and two in three Americans believe it is likely to arrive within a year. 53% of Germans fear it too, a figure up eight points from last month.
The survey was conducted in mid-July over five days, on representative samples of 1000 adults in each country. The margin of error is 3.3% for all countries.