As the world's biggest economy, the United States has best-in-the-world medical technology and know-how. But how has the country performed in the fight against COVID-19? About 81.7 percent of global poll respondents believe it has failed.
CGTN Think Tank launched the third online survey on the pandemic. The poll was conducted in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and VK. It was opened on August 10 and lasted 48 hours.
In the first question, "Has the U.S. government failed its obligation in the fight against the pandemic?", 81.7 percent of respondents said "yes." Many left critical comments on its actions.
Some respondents pointed out that American politicians and parties were busy fighting each other to win an election instead of implementing strong and timely measures to curb the outbreak. They said the bureaucrats' priorities were wrong and valued economic performance ahead of people's safety.
"I watched this all play out towards the end of 2019, the beginning of 2020. We were told that the coronavirus wasn't a big deal and wasn't anything to worry about, and everyone just ran with it," said an American respondent.
A comment translated from Spanish said the U.S. fears losing its leadership role in the world so much that it has failed to look after what really matters – the people, who are being forgotten. An Arabic-speaking respondent commented that the capitalist country, controlled by a small group of "elites", is concerned more about money than people's health. One comment in French said it's shameful to see a nation as wealthy as the U.S. invest so little in public health for the underprivileged. Some attributed the reason for the spread in the U.S. to behavioral differences. "The U.S. is too liberal a society to have implemented stricter measures to manage the crisis unlike several other societies in Asia, Africa and other regions," one comment read. Another English-speaking respondent blamed China, accusing the country of spreading the virus across the world.
In the second question, "Do you think the racial minorities in the U.S. are treated unequally?", 72.3 percent of global respondents voted "yes." Arabic-speaking respondents were the group with the strongest reaction. Around 81 percent of them on Twitter and 84 percent on YouTube voted "yes".
Eighty-two percent of Spanish-speaking and French-speaking respondents on YouTube shared the same view.
One comment translated from Arabic accused the U.S. of being the real enemy of the people. The respondent pointed out that the U.S. political, economic and military systems serve the ugly monster in destroying other countries and murdering their people for its own interests. Some Arabic-speaking and Russian-speaking respondents mentioned that the history of massacring Native Americans is self-explanatory of how badly racial minorities are treated in the U.S.
Multiple studies show the coronavirus pandemic is far deadlier for minority groups in the U.S. According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native Americans are twice more likely to die of the disease than white people. A Guardian report in June also indicated that Black Americans have the highest COVID-19 death rate nationally.
One comment in Spanish said those who brag about prosperity and wealth in the U.S. should also notice the huge gaps between each class. Some people may have everything, it said, but others may not even have access to basic daily necessities. Some Spanish-speaking and English-speaking respondents indicated that racism is rooted deeply in the U.S. and its structures and is much more serious than anywhere else.
About 77.7 percent of respondents answered "yes" when asked whether they agree the U.S. deported tens of thousands of infected people back to their countries, thereby spreading COVID-19, especially in Latin America, a move that the New York Times dubbed "exporting coronavirus." As much as 85 percent of Spanish-speaking respondents on YouTube shared the same view.
"Focusing too much on politics and too little on human rights. This attitude affected the citizens from inside the U.S. regime borders but also neighboring countries in North, Latin America," said an English-speaking respondent.
"Not only did they prioritize trying to save the economy over people, they hoarded vaccines so the rest of the world would suffer along with them," another comment in English read.
Spanish-speaking respondents raised further questions, claiming the U.S. administration might have used the pandemic as a chance to incite "color revolutions". One comment translated from Spanish said Bolivia's coronavirus outbreak didn't happen by coincidence. The respondent recalled an unusual American presence in the country when a coup started by the end of 2019. COVID-19 broke out in regions including Santa Cruz where mutinies started, and soon after, the entire country.
CGTN Think Tank found it has received far more comments from respondents on the third poll than that of the previous two. Discussions among netizens around the world evoked memories and raised awareness, and the discussions were extended into a wider range. Some respondents complained that the U.S. started wars everywhere, which seriously endangered the safety of people in other countries.
A Spanish-speaking respondent claimed to have a family discussion on the Vietnam War and the Korean War and decided they had no liking of the U.S., adding that there are millions who share the same view for the pain and death the country has brought upon the world.
Some said both China and the U.S. should be hold accountable for the pandemic, but one added "China is doing something to at least fix the problem while some of America thinks it is not their problem and it will go away with FREEEEDDDOOOOOMMMM!"
"Today the world is quite unfair, nobody cares what's going on inside Afghanistan, we stick in a very tough situation where (there) is no one to help us ... our wishes are not much to turn possible, same like rest of people in this world we just want to live in a relaxation atmosphere ... we deserve the peace more than anyone in the world after many decades of conflicts and misery. WE JUST WANT PEACE," said one comment in English.
CGTN Think Tank has published results of an online poll in which over 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the U.S. government had failed its obligations in the fight against COVID-19. It was conducted in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and VK. Participants were self-selecting and around 53,000 people took part.
Download the full report in PDF:
How is the U.S. government responding to the COVID-19 crisis?