BUSINESS & POLITICS IN THE WORLD

 

GLOBAL OPINION REPORT NO. 643

 

 

Week: June 15 – June 21, 2020

 

Presentation: June 27, 2020

 

 

Contents

 

Highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine. 2

SUMMARY OF POLLS. 5

ASIA   11

Rise in number of Indians who think the threat of Coronavirus is being exaggerated as the economy opens up. 11

MENA   15

Banking & Finance employees are the happiest with their company’s behaviour during the pandemic. 15

EUROPE.. 18

Highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine. 18

Four years after Brexit, support for the EU surges in Britain. 20

Four in five Brits support refugees’ rights to escape to another country from war and persecution. 23

Belief among Britons in coronavirus myths. 26

Despite concerns for job security, Britons confident in their company’s management of the coronavirus crisis. 29

Attitudes to race and inequality in Great Britain. 29

COVID-19: 70% of key workers are worried for family’s health. 31

How useful is an undergraduate degree?. 34

NORTH AMERICA.. 37

U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low.. 37

Americans More Upbeat About Personal Finances. 39

Parents Slightly Favor Full-Time, In-Person School This Fall 43

Americans' Views of Trump's Character Firmly Established. 46

Nine in 10 Concerned About Rising Drug Costs Due to COVID-19. 48

Experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak can vary for Americans of different ages. 52

Before protests, black Americans said religious sermons should address race relations. 56

AUSTRALIA.. 58

High satisfaction ratings for chemists and pharmacies as Australia faced bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic  58

MULTICOUNTRY STUDIES. 61

750 Million Struggling to Meet Basic Needs With No Safety Net 61

THE ARAB WORLD’S TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND THE PERILS OF GENERALIZATION.. 65

Study shows increased support for refugees worldwide. 69

 


 

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

 

This weekly report consists of twenty one surveys. The report includes three multi-country studies national surveys from different states across the globe.

 

643-43-22/Commentary:

Highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine

If it’s one of those days and you’re inclined to start moaning about the Vatican, it’s honestly hard to know where to start and stop: It’s clericalist, certainly, but also often benighted, obtuse, obstructionist, revanchist, spectacularly tone-deaf and inept, sometimes corrupt and, once in a while, just outrageously embarrassing.

Pope Francis famously cataloged 15 spiritual diseases of the Roman Curia in his first Christmas address to the top Vatican brass, but if he were being graded by historians and experts, he’d probably get an incomplete.

Of course, we all know that if we didn’t have a Vatican we’d have to invent it, because the Church needs a central administration, and anyway, let’s face it – the dysfunction and messiness of the place is part of its charm.

But fair’s fair, so if we’re going to moan about the Vatican – and, in many ways, isn’t that the favorite indoor sport of Catholics everywhere? – we also need to acknowledge its strengths, and high on that list has to be its remarkable sense of drama.

The thought comes to mind in light of a Saturday essay on the Italian version of the HuffPost by an Italian playwright, stage and screen director and screenwriter by the name of Massimiliano Perrotta.

Perrotta, let’s be clear, is no lapdog of the Catholic Church. Yet when he was asked by the HuffPost to pen a piece about the coronavirus experience seen through the lens of theater, he didn’t hesitate to name Pope Francis’s haunting Urbi et Orbi blessing staged March 27 in an empty St. Peter’s Square as the single most dramatically apt moment.

“No theatrical event in this 2020 will be more moving or necessary than the rite against the coronavirus celebrated by Pope Francis on March 27,” Perrotta wrote.

“We were all terrorized that day, segregated as the virus claimed victim after victim in our country,” he wrote. “Scientists still didn’t know how to explain its wickedness. As an antidote, Pope Francis wanted to hold a prayer broadcast on television, a kind of metaphysical exorcism against the contagion.”

“At the end of the ritual, with hands that were almost trembling, the pope held up a monstrance for the blessing while the sound of bells prevailed over the lament of the rain, and as the chilling sound of an ambulance approached and then vanished.”

“No director,” Perrotta wrote, “could have invented such a powerful scene.”

In terms of numbers, more than 17 million Italians watched the Urbi et Orbi blessing that Friday evening, which is roughly a quarter of the entire national population. It was good enough for a 65 percent share of the country’s TV audience at that hour, making it the highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine.

For those with long memories, it was another example of the Vatican serving up exactly the right imagery and symbolism to capture a powerful moment.

Anyone who experienced it, for example, will never forget the funeral rite for St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on April 8, 2005. For one thing, there was the inspired choice of a simple wooden casket adorned solely with a book of the gospels, whose pages fluttered in the wind. Nothing could have better captured the spirit of a life spent in service to the gospel, and those pictures were on the front page of every newspaper in the world the next day.

On the “unforgettable” meter, there’s also that incredible helicopter ride of Pope Benedict XVI the night of his resignation from the papacy on February 28, 2013, when he traveled from the Vatican to his temporary residence at Castel Gandolfo as the bells sounded in St. Peter’s. Cameras followed the helicopter the entire way, and it seemed straight out of Fellini, expressing the monumental nature of the moment better than any speech or learned essay possibly could.

Then, of course, there was the equally powerful moment after Benedict XVI gave his final salute from the balcony of the apostolic palace at Castel Gandolfo. When the clock struck 8:00 p.m. local time, the hour in which the resignation took effect, the two Swiss Guards standing watch in front of the main entrance to the papal clicked their heels and withdrew, because their mandate is to protect the pope – the reigning pope, that is, not a retired one. Their place was taken by members of the Vatican Gendarmes, responsible not only for the pope’s protection but the Vatican’s physical plant.

Vatican communications personnel were smart enough to leave the cameras rolling the entire time, and I guarantee, all across Rome, even in the most embittered anti-clerical venues, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Catholicism is a sacramental faith, in which adherents believe visible signs communicate invisible grace, and it’s also deeply liturgical, with a keen sense of rite and ritual. Perhaps that’s why headquarters also has such a good eye for drama, seemingly always knowing how to stage a cathartic scene in the just-right moment.

However one explains it, no one who experienced the coronavirus in Italy will ever forget that March 27 evening, and they’ll be joined by countless millions others around the world who watched at a distance.

Say what you will about the Vatican, that’s no mean feat – just ask Massimiliano Perrotta and his colleagues, who probably wish they could pull off such an iconic scene just once in their careers.

(Crux)

June 22, 2020

Source: https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2020/06/say-what-you-will-about-the-vatican-theres-no-denying-its-sense-of-drama/

643-43-23: Country Profile/ Italy

ITALY2

ITALY3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF POLLS

ASIA

Rise in number of Indians who think the threat of Coronavirus is being exaggerated as the economy opens up

In an attempt to capture the country’s sentiment on the Coronavirus crisis, Team C-Voter has been conducting a daily tracking poll from March 16th 2020 among 18+ adults statewide, including every major demographic. The poll asks questions to respondents across the country about their economic and social wellbeing, along with their sentiments on fear of the virus and availability of food/ration in their households. Team Polstrat today breaks down the changes in public opinion about the fear of the Coronavirus and whether people thought this threat was exaggerated or not over the last few months.

(C-Voter)

June 23, 2020

 

MENA

Banking & Finance employees are the happiest with their company’s behaviour during the pandemic

Although most UAE employees feel their employers have treated them well during this difficult time, some sectors show far higher satisfaction levels than others. YouGov’s latest research reveals that a large proportion of UAE employees are very positive about how their employer has treated them during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 56% rating their company’s treatment of staff as ‘excellent’ (31%) or ‘very good’ (25%). The figures are noticeably higher among employees working in the ‘Banking & Finance’ sector (73%). Advertising/ Marketing/ PR professionals (63%) and those working in the ‘Education’ sector (61%) also seem happy with their employer’s conduct towards them during this time. (YouGov MENA)

June 16, 2020

 

WEST EUROPE

Highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine

If we’re going to moan about the Vatican – and, in many ways, isn’t that the favorite indoor sport of Catholics everywhere? – we also need to acknowledge its strengths, and high on that list has to be its remarkable sense of drama. When Massimiliano Perrotta, an Italian playwright, stage and screen director and screenwriter, was asked by the HuffPost to pen a piece about the coronavirus experience seen through the lens of theater, he didn’t hesitate to name Pope Francis’s haunting Urbi et Orbi blessing as the single most dramatically apt moment. More than 17 million Italians watched the Urbi et Orbi blessing that Friday evening, which is roughly a quarter of the entire national population. It was good enough for a 65 percent share of the country’s TV audience at that hour, making it the highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine. (Crux)

June 22, 2020

Four years after Brexit, support for the EU surges in Britain

Four years on from the UK's Brexit vote, a majority of British voters would now opt to remain inside the European Union, says new research. According to the European Social Survey (ESS), a pan-European poll carried out every two years, 56.8% of respondents in the UK indicated that they would vote to remain inside the bloc, an increase from 49.9% the last time the survey was published in 2018. The most recent survey shows that of those questioned in the UK, 34.9% said they would vote to leave and 8.3% said they would not vote at all. (CNN)

June 25, 2020

Four in five Brits support refugees’ rights to escape to another country from war and persecution

A new Ipsos global study conducted to mark World Refugee Day 2020 finds that Britain continues to be among the most supportive of people’s right to seek refuge from war and persecution.  And while Brits have become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into British society, concerns over Coronavirus means they want the country to be less open to refugees. The large majority of those surveyed across 26 countries increasingly believe that people should have the right to seek refuge – including in their own country – from war or persecution.  (Ipsos MORI)

June 19, 2020

Belief among Britons in coronavirus myths

Social media use is linked to belief in COVID-19 myths and breaking lockdown rules according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI and The Policy Institute, King's College London. People who get their information about coronavirus from social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are more likely to believe conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and to have broken key lockdown rules, according to a new UK study by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI. The findings are based on three separate surveys, and have been published in a peer-reviewed article by King’s College London academics in the leading journal Psychological Medicine. (Ipsos MORI)

June 18, 2020

Despite concerns for job security, Britons confident in their company’s management of the coronavirus crisis

New survey findings by Ipsos MORI show that Britons have concerns about job security - but remain confident about their organisations management of the COVID-19 pandemic. As offices across the UK take their first cautious steps to re-open following the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic, new research by Ipsos MORI shows two in five employees (40%) have concerns about job security. Similar numbers are pessimistic about the security of their company (41%). At the same time, the overwhelming majority of employees agree with the view that: “My company has a responsible approach and is behaving in an exemplary manner during this crisis” (81%). (Ipsos MORI)

June 17, 2020

Attitudes to race and inequality in Great Britai

New research from Ipsos MORI shows that the British public have become avowedly more open-minded in their attitudes towards race since the mid-2000s.  However, seven in ten still think there is at least a fair amount of tension in Britain between people of different races and nationalities, and there are concerns about inequalities in public services, the police and politics. The vast majority, 89%, claim they would be happy for their child to marry someone from another ethnic group, and 70% strongly agree.  This is an improvement from January 2009, when 75% said they would be happy overall, and 41% strongly. (Ipsos MORI)

June 15, 2020

COVID-19: 70% of key workers are worried for family’s health

Plurality of key workers also say they can’t fully do their jobs while social distancing. The UK is yet to return to any semblance of normality, with retailers figuring out how to offer socially-distanced shopping, hospitality still waiting for a solution and schools yet to fully reopen. And YouGov polling reveals that the majority of key workers are concerned for the health of their family and those they live with. Overall 70% of key workers are worried for the health of those they live with during the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly a quarter (23%) very worried. (YouGov)

June 20, 2020

How useful is an undergraduate degree?

Large numbers of degree-educated Brits end up working in a different field, but a majority still say university was worthwhile. This year’s university applicants must make their final choices by tomorrow (18 June) despite uncertainties over whether teaching will be moved online. Can they learn anything from how degree-educated Brits feel about their studies now? The good news first: Most people with a degree say going to university was worthwhile. Gaining knowledge and skills is the reason that ranks highest among graduates at 87%. But Freshers’ Week on Zoom may not live up to the experiences of past graduates. University life is important, with 76% saying their degree was worth it for the experiences they had as a student. (YouGov)

June 17, 2020

 

NORTH AMERICA

U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low

American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are "extremely proud" (42%) or "very proud" (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup's initial measurement in 2001. At the same time, 15% of Americans say they are "moderately proud," 12% "only a little proud" and 9% "not at all proud." (Gallup USA)

June 15, 2020

Americans More Upbeat About Personal Finances

Slightly more Americans today than two months ago rate their personal financial situation positively. A May 28-June 4 Gallup poll finds 53% of U.S. adults describing their personal finances as either "excellent" or "good," compared with 49% in early April, when most of the country was under stay-at-home orders, and the effects of these on the economy were more uncertain. Americans are still not as positive about their finances as they were in 2019 (56%) but remain much more upbeat than during the 2007-2009 Great Recession and ensuing years of high unemployment. (Gallup USA)

June 17, 2020

Parents Slightly Favor Full-Time, In-Person School This Fall

As the 2019-2020 school year that was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic ends, U.S. parents are more likely to prefer their children attend full-time, in-person school this fall as opposed to having full- or part-time distance learning. Fifty-six percent of parents with children who attend a K-12 school prefer their children's instruction be fully in person this fall. Meanwhile, 37% prefer a hybrid program in which students attend school part time and do some distance learning, while 7% want full-time distance learning for their children. Slim Majority of U.S. Parents Favor Full-Time, In-Person Schooling This Fall. (Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Americans' Views of Trump's Character Firmly Established

Less than five months before the general election, Americans' views of President Donald Trump across four key characteristics are largely stable, and each is within five percentage points of Gallup's lowest readings since his inauguration. Less than half of Americans see the 45th president as a strong and decisive leader (49%), able to manage the government effectively (42%), caring about the needs of people like them (42%), and honest and trustworthy (36%).

Gallup has tracked Americans' views of these four positive character traits of Trump since shortly after his inauguration in 2017. (Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Nine in 10 Concerned About Rising Drug Costs Due to COVID-19

A new study by West Health and Gallup finds Americans sensitive to a number of negative developments in healthcare that could result from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly nine in 10 U.S. adults are "very" (55%) or "somewhat" (33%) concerned that the pharmaceutical industry will leverage the COVID-19 pandemic to raise drug prices. The levels of concern among demographic groups are mostly similar, except by party identification. Democrats (66%) are more likely to say they are very concerned than are independents (52%) or Republicans (49%).

(Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak can vary for Americans of different ages

The COVID-19 outbreak has altered daily life for Americans – from how they work and attend school, to the ways they connect with others, to how they worship. These experiences can vary with age. Here are eight findings from Pew Research Center surveys about how Americans across the age spectrum have experienced the pandemic. About half (49%) of those 65 and older said in a late April-early May survey that the coronavirus is a major threat to their health. But fewer in this age group – 32% – say it is a major threat to their personal finances. Meanwhile, younger Americans are more likely to view the coronavirus as a major threat to their personal finances than as a major threat to their personal health. (Pew Research Center)

June 16, 2020

Before protests, black Americans said religious sermons should address race relations

For black Americans, faith and racial justice have long intersected. Throughout history, houses of worship served as central gathering places where black communities discussed political issues and civic action. This often took the form of protest strategy meetings and rallies. But political activism also infused the sermons, hymns and other religious content of many black congregations. Given that tradition, black Americans and white Americans have differing views on the role that political topics such as race relations and criminal justice reform should play in religious sermons, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year, before the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. (Pew Research Center)

June 15, 2020

 

AUSTRALIA

High satisfaction ratings for chemists and pharmacies as Australia faced bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic

The latest research from Roy Morgan conducted in the year to March 2020 shows that 12 million Australians (57%) shop at chemists/ pharmacies in an average four weeks. The leading stores including Priceline Pharmacy, My Chemist, TerryWhite Chemmart and Chemist Warehouse each have well over 1 million customers. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that the good news for chemists and pharmacies is that the 12 million customers of Australia’s chemists/ pharmacies rate their customer satisfaction amongst the highest of any of the more than 30 industries Roy Morgan measures on a weekly basis. (Roy Morgan)

June 16, 2020

 

MULTICOUNTRY STUDIES

750 Million Struggling to Meet Basic Needs With No Safety Net

Gallup's new Basic Needs Vulnerability Index, based on surveys in 142 countries in 2019, suggests this was the reality for hundreds of millions worldwide just as COVID-19 arrived.

About one in seven of the world's adults -- or about 750 million people -- fall into this index's "High Vulnerability" group, which means they are struggling to afford either food or shelter, or struggling to afford both, and don't have friends or family to count on if they were in trouble. Globally, at least some adults in every country fall into the High Vulnerability group, which is important because Gallup finds people in this group are potentially more at risk in almost every area of their lives. Worldwide, these percentages range from 1% in wealthy countries such as Denmark and Singapore to roughly 50% in places such as Benin and Afghanistan. (Gallup USA)

June 16, 2020

THE ARAB WORLD’S TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND THE PERILS OF GENERALIZATION

Previously, I have written in the Arab Pulse about levels of institutional trust in the Arab World. While levels of trust in government are generally low, they remain above other, ostensibly more representative political institutions (parliaments and political parties), and exhibit a large variance between different Arab governments. According to Arab Barometer Wave 5 data, trust in government varies tremendously, from 66 percent in Egypt, to 57 percent in Yemen, 47 percent in Kuwait, 38 percent in Jordan, 33 percent in Palestine and Sudan, 29 percent in Morocco, 20 percent in Tunisia, 19 percent in Iraq and Lebanon, and just 10 percent in Libya. (Arab Barometer)

June 23, 2020

Study shows increased support for refugees worldwide

A new Ipsos global study conducted to mark tomorrow’s World Refugee Day 2020 finds that the majority of citizens across 26 countries increasingly believe that people should have the right to seek refuge from war or persecution. However, concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak mean that people think their country should accept fewer refugees. There is evidence that some attitudes have hardened, for example, there is increasing scepticism about whether those coming into the country as refugees are genuine refugees. On the other hand, the online survey conducted among adults aged under 74 in 26 countries shows that people have become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into their new societies.

(Ipsos Global)

June 19, 2020

 

 

 


 

ASIA

643-43-01/Poll

Rise in number of Indians who think the threat of Coronavirus is being exaggerated as the economy opens up

In an attempt to capture the country’s sentiment on the Coronavirus crisis, Team C-Voter has been conducting a daily tracking poll from March 16th 2020 among 18+ adults statewide, including every major demographic. The poll asks questions to respondents across the country about their economic and social wellbeing, along with their sentiments on fear of the virus and availability of food/ration in their households. Team Polstrat today breaks down the changes in public opinion about the fear of the Coronavirus and whether people thought this threat was exaggerated or not over the last few months.

 

(Team C-Voter)

June 23, 2020

Source: http://www.cvoterindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/Daily%20Infographics_23rd%20June_English_Final.pdf

MENA

643-43-02/Poll

Banking & Finance employees are the happiest with their company’s behaviour during the pandemic

Although most UAE employees feel their employers have treated them well during this difficult time, some sectors show far higher satisfaction levels than others

YouGov’s latest research reveals that a large proportion of UAE employees are very positive about how their employer has treated them during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 56% rating their company’s treatment of staff as ‘excellent’ (31%) or ‘very good’ (25%).

The figures are noticeably higher among employees working in the ‘Banking & Finance’ sector (73%). Advertising/ Marketing/ PR professionals (63%) and those working in the ‘Education’ sector (61%) also seem happy with their employer’s conduct towards them during this time.

Al Ansari Money Transfer

On the contrary, 21% of all respondents claimed their employer’s treatment has been “good” and only 23% rated it as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’. This proportion is considerably higher among those working in the Tourism and Hospitality industry (35% rating ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’).

When asked about the behaviour of various sectors within the UAE economy in response to the pandemic, residents were more likely to say all the sectors have behaved well rather than poorly. 

The Supermarket sector (81%) leads among businesses perceived to have responded well to the pandemic, followed by Pharmaceutical companies (77%), Utilities (72%) and Technology sectors (70%).

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Comparatively, a lower proportion rated the behaviour of ‘airlines’ and ‘leisure companies’ positively. 45% feel that airlines have responded well to the outbreak, but a third (32%) describe their behaviour as ‘poor’. The same is true for leisure companies, where the figures are 44% and 29%, respectively.

Opinions are most polarised over the behaviour of the holiday/ travel companies, with 37% feeling companies in this industry have responded well, and a further 33% believing them to have responded poorly.

With regard to companies who have lost most of their day-to-day business, a third of residents believe that despite the circumstances their employees should be kept fully employed and fully paid (32%). A quarter (24%), however, said employees should have their pay cut until normal work resumes. Others feel workers should be furloughed (17%). A small minority (13%) feel if necessary some employees should be laid off altogether from their jobs.

Thinking about the future of work, a majority predict less business travel and greater use of video conferencing (51%) because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many believe that remote working will be relied on far more for many businesses (42%) and more organisations will shut stores and move their businesses to online-only (40%).

Al Ansari Money Transfer

Alongside this, 36% believe profits will be retained by businesses in future to allow for an emergency fund in times of crisis. Some employees foresee attitudinal changes from companies in the UAE, with 22% believing that businesses will value their existing employees more, and 30% predicting companies will make more of an effort to support their local communities.

(YouGov MENA)

June 16, 2020

Source: https://mena.yougov.com/en/news/2020/06/16/banking-finance-employees-are-happiest-their-compa/

EUROPE

643-43-03/Poll

Highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine

If it’s one of those days and you’re inclined to start moaning about the Vatican, it’s honestly hard to know where to start and stop: It’s clericalist, certainly, but also often benighted, obtuse, obstructionist, revanchist, spectacularly tone-deaf and inept, sometimes corrupt and, once in a while, just outrageously embarrassing.

Pope Francis famously cataloged 15 spiritual diseases of the Roman Curia in his first Christmas address to the top Vatican brass, but if he were being graded by historians and experts, he’d probably get an incomplete.

Of course, we all know that if we didn’t have a Vatican we’d have to invent it, because the Church needs a central administration, and anyway, let’s face it – the dysfunction and messiness of the place is part of its charm.

But fair’s fair, so if we’re going to moan about the Vatican – and, in many ways, isn’t that the favorite indoor sport of Catholics everywhere? – we also need to acknowledge its strengths, and high on that list has to be its remarkable sense of drama.

The thought comes to mind in light of a Saturday essay on the Italian version of the HuffPost by an Italian playwright, stage and screen director and screenwriter by the name of Massimiliano Perrotta.

Perrotta, let’s be clear, is no lapdog of the Catholic Church. Yet when he was asked by the HuffPost to pen a piece about the coronavirus experience seen through the lens of theater, he didn’t hesitate to name Pope Francis’s haunting Urbi et Orbi blessing staged March 27 in an empty St. Peter’s Square as the single most dramatically apt moment.

“No theatrical event in this 2020 will be more moving or necessary than the rite against the coronavirus celebrated by Pope Francis on March 27,” Perrotta wrote.

“We were all terrorized that day, segregated as the virus claimed victim after victim in our country,” he wrote. “Scientists still didn’t know how to explain its wickedness. As an antidote, Pope Francis wanted to hold a prayer broadcast on television, a kind of metaphysical exorcism against the contagion.”

“At the end of the ritual, with hands that were almost trembling, the pope held up a monstrance for the blessing while the sound of bells prevailed over the lament of the rain, and as the chilling sound of an ambulance approached and then vanished.”

“No director,” Perrotta wrote, “could have invented such a powerful scene.”

In terms of numbers, more than 17 million Italians watched the Urbi et Orbi blessing that Friday evening, which is roughly a quarter of the entire national population. It was good enough for a 65 percent share of the country’s TV audience at that hour, making it the highest rated single broadcast during the coronavirus quarantine.

For those with long memories, it was another example of the Vatican serving up exactly the right imagery and symbolism to capture a powerful moment.

Anyone who experienced it, for example, will never forget the funeral rite for St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on April 8, 2005. For one thing, there was the inspired choice of a simple wooden casket adorned solely with a book of the gospels, whose pages fluttered in the wind. Nothing could have better captured the spirit of a life spent in service to the gospel, and those pictures were on the front page of every newspaper in the world the next day.

On the “unforgettable” meter, there’s also that incredible helicopter ride of Pope Benedict XVI the night of his resignation from the papacy on February 28, 2013, when he traveled from the Vatican to his temporary residence at Castel Gandolfo as the bells sounded in St. Peter’s. Cameras followed the helicopter the entire way, and it seemed straight out of Fellini, expressing the monumental nature of the moment better than any speech or learned essay possibly could.

Then, of course, there was the equally powerful moment after Benedict XVI gave his final salute from the balcony of the apostolic palace at Castel Gandolfo. When the clock struck 8:00 p.m. local time, the hour in which the resignation took effect, the two Swiss Guards standing watch in front of the main entrance to the papal clicked their heels and withdrew, because their mandate is to protect the pope – the reigning pope, that is, not a retired one. Their place was taken by members of the Vatican Gendarmes, responsible not only for the pope’s protection but the Vatican’s physical plant.

Vatican communications personnel were smart enough to leave the cameras rolling the entire time, and I guarantee, all across Rome, even in the most embittered anti-clerical venues, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Catholicism is a sacramental faith, in which adherents believe visible signs communicate invisible grace, and it’s also deeply liturgical, with a keen sense of rite and ritual. Perhaps that’s why headquarters also has such a good eye for drama, seemingly always knowing how to stage a cathartic scene in the just-right moment.

However one explains it, no one who experienced the coronavirus in Italy will ever forget that March 27 evening, and they’ll be joined by countless millions others around the world who watched at a distance.

Say what you will about the Vatican, that’s no mean feat – just ask Massimiliano Perrotta and his colleagues, who probably wish they could pull off such an iconic scene just once in their careers.

(Crux)

June 22, 2020

Source: https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2020/06/say-what-you-will-about-the-vatican-theres-no-denying-its-sense-of-drama/

643-43-04/Poll

Four years after Brexit, support for the EU surges in Britain

Four years on from the UK's Brexit vote, a majority of British voters would now opt to remain inside the European Union, says new research.

According to the European Social Survey (ESS), a pan-European poll carried out every two years, 56.8% of respondents in the UK indicated that they would vote to remain inside the bloc, an increase from 49.9% the last time the survey was published in 2018. The most recent survey shows that of those questioned in the UK, 34.9% said they would vote to leave and 8.3% said they would not vote at all.

The findings come in the same week that marked the fourth anniversary of the 2016 referendum. The intervening years have seen the UK engage in divisive internal debate about precisely what form Brexit should take, complicated negotiations with Brussels on how the country would leave the bloc, and painful political deadlock that only ended on January 31 this year, when the UK finally left the EU.

The survey also reveals that support for the EU has grown broadly across the continent.

The latest survey of 26 countries, four of which are not member states, reveals an increase in support for EU membership, suggesting that speculation that other countries would quickly follow the UK to exit the union is possibly unfounded.

Of the 19 countries that participated in both the latest and previous ESS, all EU member states saw support for EU membership rise. There was little change in Norway and Switzerland, which are not member states. The latest data was gathered while the UK was still negotiating its exit from the EU as a member state.

"Brexit had an early uptick in support among member states, but for most EU citizens, Brexit hasn't been on their radar for a long time," says Georgina Wright, an EU expert at the Institute for Government.

"Over the past few years there has been more of a sense that Europe isn't static. At the last EU election we saw lots of parties who backed EU reform elected to the parliament, which I think suggests citizens are increasingly positive about the EU's ability to change with the times."

Outside of the bloc there is a mixed picture. In the Balkans there are majorities in Montenegro and Serbia for joining. However, support remains strong for staying outside in non-member states that have a far closer relationship with the EU than the UK government currently claims to want.

Switzerland, for example, is part of the EU's Schengen Area and operates in line with large areas of EU law in order to participate in the EU's Single Market. Just 11.2% of respondents in the country would be in favor of joining. Norway, where 21.5% of respondents were in favor of joining the EU, is a full member of the European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, by contrast, has stated on numerous occasions that the UK will not fall in line with EU law and seeks only a free-trade agreement with the bloc. Any deal would need to be in place by December 31 of this year, when the UK's current transition period with the EU expires.

Although the survey shows a significant swing in British support for EU membership compared to 2016, it paints only part of a murky picture in the context of British politics. Johnson won an 80-seat majority in a landslide election victory back in December on the simple platform of "Get Brexit Done," suggesting that leaving the EU was popular after more than three years of indecision.

"A lot of people, regardless of their preference for leave or remain, believe that the referendum was a democratic vote, regardless of what they think of the outcome. So in the words of the PM, they might agree that we needed to get Brexit done," says Will Jennings, Professor in Politics at the University of Southampton.

"Asking people hypothetically how they would vote if the referendum were happening now, you might get an interesting answer. But it is a fundamentally different question."

Whatever is happening in the UK, the apparent trend of increased support for the union among its own ranks will be welcome news to Eurocrats. Brussels has been careful to prevent Brexit setting a trend for increased Euroskepticism and has myriad internal problems due to disagreements between member states on issues like China and migration.

"Our latest data suggests that the UK remains divided on Brexit, however, in the rest of the union, support for remaining in the EU remains very high and is actually rising," says Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director of the European Social Survey at City, University of London. "Support for remaining ranged from 66% (Czech Republic) to 89% (Spain), suggesting that the anti-EU sentiment seen in the UK is not spreading to other countries."

However, he also notes that if the UK is successful in striking a deal with the EU before the end of the year, then Britain's Europe question could be settled once and for all.

"Only in countries outside the bloc like Norway and Switzerland do we see higher levels of anti-EU sentiment than in the UK. However, this suggests in the longer term, being outside the union might see support for re-joining decline."

Whether that happens will largely come down to what kind of deal, if any, Johnson manages to strike with Brussels. "The softest deal that this government wants to strike is far harder than many of the people in this country are comfortable with," says Simon Usherwood, professor of politics at the University of Surrey. "When people start to see the impact that has on the country and the economy, we might soon learn that the European question is far from settled as new battle lines are drawn."

Brexit negotiations between the EU and UK have continued through 2020 via videoconference, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both sides have previously told CNN that the lack of human interaction has made the negotiations more fraught. And while both want to reach an agreement, there is still significant distance between the two sides, and very little time left, unless either London or Brussels makes a major concession.

(CNN)

June 25, 2020

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/25/uk/uk-supports-eu-four-years-after-brexit-intl-gbr/index.html

643-43-05/Poll

Four in five Brits support refugees’ rights to escape to another country from war and persecution

A new Ipsos global study conducted to mark World Refugee Day 2020 finds that Britain continues to be among the most supportive of people’s right to seek refuge from war and persecution.  And while Brits have become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into British society, concerns over Coronavirus means they want the country to be less open to refugees. 
The large majority of those surveyed across 26 countries increasingly believe that people should have the right to seek refuge – including in their own country – from war or persecution.  However, concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak mean that people think their country should accept fewer refugees and some attitudes have hardened, for example, there is increasing scepticism about whether those coming into their country as refugees are genuine refugees.  On the other hand, the survey - conducted online among adults aged under 74 in 26 countries -shows that people have become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into their new society.
The study shows that: 

Britain continues to be among the most supportive of countries on refugee rights with four in five (78%) agreeing that people should have the right to seek refuge from war and persecution (up six percentage points from 72% since 2019). 

  • Globally, seven in ten (72%) believe in the fundamental right of refugees to seek refuge – including in their own country - to escape war or persecution, which is up 11 points from 61% in 2019. One in five (21%) disagree.  
  • There is majority support in favour of the right for people to seek refuge across all countries, which is a noticeable change from last year when opinion was much more divided. 
  • Those most likely to agree with the principle of the right to seek refuge are in Sweden (81%), Netherlands (80%) and Spain (79%).  Levels of agreement have markedly increased in France, Belgium and Germany.  Respondents in South Korea (55%), Hungary (57%) and Malaysia (60%) are less likely to agree than the global average. 

Brits are less likely to want to close the borders to refugees than the global average, but views have hardened compared with 2019.

  • Two in five (38%) think that borders should be closed at this time, which has increased five points from 33% last year. However, over half of Britons (54%) disagree that the country’s borders should be closed to refugees, which is unchanged since last year.  
  • Globally, half of people (49%) say that they must close their country’s borders and not accept refugees at this time, which has increased by nine points from 40% in 2019.  However, four in ten people (43%) disagree.  
  • Respondents in Malaysia (82%), Turkey (71%) and India (68%) are most likely to agree that their country’s borders should be closed to refugees at this time, compared with respondents in Spain (35%), Japan (37%) and Poland (37%) who are among the least likely to advocate a closed borders policy.    
  • Countries, where views have hardened most about closing their borders since 2019 include Malaysia, Peru, South Africa and Chile. 

Brits are slightly more positive than the global average about being more open to refugees because of the Coronavirus outbreak. However, on balance they still want the country to be less open.

  • One in six (15%) Brits think the country should be more open to refugees (vs 10% globally) than it was before the outbreak of Coronavirus.  Two in five Britons (42%) think it should be less open compared with 49% globally.  A third of Brits (33%) think it should remain the same as it was before, which is line with the global average. 
  • In no country is there majority support for being more open to refugees at this time. Countries where there is greatest support for being less open are Turkey (67%), Russia (66%), Peru (65%) and Malaysia (64%). 

Around one in ten Brits (12%) support an increase in financial support for refugees around the world due to Coronavirus, while a third (35%) want spending to stay the same and 41% want it to decrease. 

  • Brits are broadly in line with the global average where 13% say that their country should increase spending to support refugees around the world because of Coronavirus. One in three (34%) want to keep it at the same level and two in five (38%) say that spending should be decreased. 
  • People in India are most likely to support an increase in spending (33%) followed by Saudi Arabia and Chile (both 23%).  Those most likely to say spending should be decreased are in Mexico (52%), Hungary and Canada (both 49%).

While Britons are less sceptical than the global average about whether refugees coming to their country are genuine, half (51%) sill think that refugees coming to the country are not genuine compared with 38% who disagree.  These views remain unchanged since 2019. 

  • Globally, close to six in ten (59%) are doubtful that people coming to their country claiming to be refugees really are genuine, instead believing that they are coming for economic reasons or to take advantage of welfare services – an increase of five percentage points on 2019.  Three in ten people disagree – showing no change since last year and suggesting that overall the balance of opinion has become more sceptical about people’s motives for trying to enter their country.  
  • Those most likely to doubt the authenticity of refugees coming into their country are in Malaysia (75%), India and Russia (both 74%) and Turkey (72%), while those among the least likely to question whether refugees are genuine are in Sweden, the US (both 51%), Brazil (47%) and Canada (44%).  
  • Countries where scepticism has grown significantly (by 10 points or more) since 2019 are Malaysia, Russia, Chile and Japan. 

Britons have become more positive about refugee integration. Half (51%) now agree that refugees will integrate successfully into their new society which is up six points from 45% last year.  Two in five (39%) disagree, which is in line with 2019 (38%). 

  • A similar shift has been observed globally where people have become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into their new society than last year; close to half (45%) agree that refugees will integrate successfully into their new society – an increase of seven points from 38% since 2019. Overall, views on the matter remain fairly split, however, with 44% disagreeing (a fall of four points from 47% in 2019). 
  • Countries that are most optimistic about refugees successfully integrating into their new society are Saudi Arabia (65%), India (64%) and Argentina (61%).  
  • Countries that are least likely to agree that refugees will successfully integrate are South Korea (26%), Hungary and Belgium (both 28%). 
  • Views on this measure have shifted significantly (by at least 10 points) in a positive direction in the United States, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Saudi Arabia as well as a number of European countries including France, Italy and Poland. On the other hand, people in Peru have become less convinced since 2019 that refugees can successfully integrate into their new society.  

Kully Kaur-Ballagan, Research Director at Ipsos MORI says:

The study shows that Britain continues to be among the most compassionate globally about people’s fundamental right to seek refuge from war and persecution and the public has become more positive about the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into British society.  However, concerns about people taking advantage of the system remain. At the same time, the outbreak of Coronavirus has clearly had an impact on the extent to which people want Britain to be more open to welcoming to refugees, with support for closing borders increasing since last year.

Notes to editors:

  • 17,997 online adults were interviewed in total and fieldwork was conducted from 22 May - 5 June 2020
  • In the US, South Africa, Turkey, Malaysia and Canada adults aged 18-74 were interviewed and aged 16-64 in all other countries. 
  • 15 of the 26 countries surveyed online generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States).
  • Brazil, China, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Serbia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is more urban & educated, and with higher incomes than their fellow citizens.  We refer to these respondents as “Upper Deck Consumer Citizens”.  They are not nationally representative of their country.
  • Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.
  • The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.1 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.5 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
  • Data are weighted to match the profile of the population

(Ipsos MORI)

June 19, 2020

Source: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/world-refugee-day-2020

643-43-06/Poll

Belief among Britons in coronavirus myths

Social media use is linked to belief in COVID-19 myths and breaking lockdown rules according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI and The Policy Institute, King's College London.

People who get their information about coronavirus from social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are more likely to believe conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and to have broken key lockdown rules, according to a new UK study by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI.

The findings are based on three separate surveys, and have been published in a peer-reviewed article by King’s College London academics in the leading journal Psychological Medicine.

The figures below and in the new study relate to the most comprehensive of the three surveys, which involved 2,254 interviews with UK residents aged 16-75, carried out online between 20 and 22 May 2020.

The researchers tested seven statements about coronavirus, revealing the following levels of belief:

COVID-19 conspiracies and confusions

  • Three in 10 (30%) think coronavirus was probably created in a lab, up from a quarter (25%) at the beginning of April.
  • Three in 10 (28%) think most people in the UK have already had coronavirus without realising it.
  • Three in 10 (30%) believe the COVID-19 death toll is being deliberately reduced or hidden by the authorities.
  • One in seven (14%) believe the death toll is being deliberately exaggerated by the authorities.
  • One in eight (13%) believe that the current pandemic is part of a global effort to force everyone to be vaccinated.
  • More than one in 20 (8%) believe that the symptoms that most people blame on COVID-19 appear to be connected to 5G network radiation.
  • More than one in 20 (7%) believe there is no hard evidence that COVID-19 really exists.

The link with social media

Several of these statements are conspiracy theories that suggest coronavirus may not be a threat to public health. The peer-reviewed article finds a statistically significant link between believing in such conspiracy theories and using social media.

In particular, people who believe in these conspiracy theories are more likely to get a fair amount or great deal of their information about the virus from Facebook and YouTube:

  • 60% of those who believe the virus is linked to 5G radiation get their information from YouTube, compared with 14% of those who think that’s false.
  • 56% of people who believe there’s no hard evidence COVID-19 exists use Facebook as a key information source, almost three times higher than the proportion of non-believers who do (20%).
  • 45% of those who believe COVID-19 deaths are being exaggerated get a lot of their information from Facebook, more than twice the 19% of non-believers who say the same.

The article also finds that people who have broken the lockdown rules are more likely to be getting their information on the virus from social media. In the latest and most comprehensive survey:

  • 58% of those who have gone outside with COVID-19 symptoms use YouTube as a main information source, compared with 16% of those who haven’t.
  • 18% of those who have obeyed the 2-metre rule get a lot of their information from the video streaming site, in contrast to 42% among those who haven’t obeyed it.
  • 37% of people who have had friends or family visit them at home list Facebook as a key source, compared with 23% of those who haven’t.

Compliance with the lockdown

The article finds a statistically significant link between believing in such conspiracy theories and breaking lockdown rules, which can be seen in the latest survey’s findings:

“The number of people reported as dying from coronavirus is being deliberately exaggerated by the authorities.”

  • Three in 10 (28%) of those who believe this have had friends or family visit them at home – more than twice as many as the 12% of non-believers who have done the same.
  • One in five (18%) believers have gone to work or outside with suspected coronavirus symptoms, almost four times more than the 5% of non-believers who have done so.
  • 82% of believers have followed the 2-metre social distancing rule, compared with 95% among those who don’t believe this conspiracy.

“The symptoms that most people blame on coronavirus appear to be linked to 5G network radiation.”

  • Three in 10 (29%) people who believe this have gone out despite suspecting they may have coronavirus, compared with just 4% among those who reject this belief.
  • A third (33%) of believers have had friends or family to visit them at home, which falls to one in eight (13%) among non-believers.
  • 83% of those who believe this conspiracy have followed the 2-metre rule, compared with 95% among those who do not believe it.

“There is no hard evidence that coronavirus really exists.”

  • Four in 10 (38%) believers have had others visit them, compared with just over one in 10 (12%) non-believers.
  • 35% of believers have also gone out when they should have been self-quarantining, almost nine times higher than the 4% of non-believers who have done the same.
  • 72% of those who believe this conspiracy have complied with the 2-metre rule, 23 percentage points lower than the proportion of those who do not believe it (95%).

The link with political views, age and education

  • 39% of Conservative voters think coronavirus was probably created in a lab, compared with 23% of Labour voters. And belief among Tory voters has risen by 14 points since early April.
  • Leave voters (43%) are twice as likely as Remain voters (20%) to believe the virus was created in a lab.
  • Labour voters (38%) are twice as likely as Conservative voters (19%) to believe the coronavirus death toll is being deliberately reduced or hidden by the authorities.
  • 19% of those aged 16-44 believe the death toll is being exaggerated, compared with 8% of those aged 45 and over.
  • Belief that COVID-19 deaths are being exaggerated declines with education level: 25% of those with no formal qualifications believe this, which falls to 10% among those with a degree or higher.
  • 22% of 16-24-year-olds believe 5G is linked to COVID-19 – the highest of any age group. By comparison, 3% of those aged 45-54 and 2% of those aged 55-75 believe this.

(Ipsos MORI)

June 18, 2020

Source: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/belief-among-britons-coronavirus-myths

643-43-07/Poll

Despite concerns for job security, Britons confident in their company’s management of the coronavirus crisis

New survey findings by Ipsos MORI show that Britons have concerns about job security - but remain confident about their organisations management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As offices across the UK take their first cautious steps to re-open following the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic, new research by Ipsos MORI shows two in five employees (40%) have concerns about job security. Similar numbers are pessimistic about the security of their company (41%).

At the same time, the overwhelming majority of employees agree with the view that: “My company has a responsible approach and is behaving in an exemplary manner during this crisis” (81%). Four in five also say they have confidence in the decisions taken by their company’s management (79%) and express pride in working for their company (80%).

Those who have worked remotely over the past three months say their evaluation of remote working is positive (86%) - even if they recognise that their ability to work in a team and their motivation are deteriorating rather than improving while working from home.

Four in five (79%) say their company has adapted well to the current context, and a plurality agree that the current crisis is an opportunity to accelerate the transformation of their company (48%, with 33% in disagreement).

Ellie Shaw, Head of the Employee Engagement practice of Ipsos MORI, said

The government has to address the delicate balance between public health and financial concerns. Our research shows employees feel their employers have behaved well so far; it remains to be seen whether this view remains widely shared after the ending of the furlough scheme and as companies grapple with the financial damage caused by this pandemic.

This study is part of wider Ipsos research conducted by our specialist Employee Engagement Practice. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have conducted surveys across the world; in the US, France, Germany and Switzerland, and have comparables across markets including data on remote working.  Please get in touch with Ellie Shaw or Brian Gosschalk for further information.

(Ipsos MORI)

June 17, 2020

Source: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/despite-concerns-job-security-britons-confident-their-companys-management-coronavirus-crisis

643-43-08/Poll

Attitudes to race and inequality in Great Britain

New research from Ipsos MORI shows that the British public have become avowedly more open-minded in their attitudes towards race since the mid-2000s.  However, seven in ten still think there is at least a fair amount of tension in Britain between people of different races and nationalities, and there are concerns about inequalities in public services, the police and politics.

Key findings

  • The vast majority, 89%, claim they would be happy for their child to marry someone from another ethnic group, and 70% strongly agree.  This is an improvement from January 2009, when 75% said they would be happy overall, and 41% strongly.
  • Similarly, the vast majority (93%, nearly all of them strongly disagreeing at 84%) disagree with the statement that, “to be truly British you have to be White”.  In October 2006, 82% disagreed,  55% strongly.  The proportion who agree with the statement has fallen from 10% to 3% in the last 14 years.
  • However, seven in ten (69%) think there is at least a fair amount of tension in Britain between people of different races and nationalities (one in five – 20% - say there is a great deal of tension).  However, this is a slight improvement from April 2008 when 76% felt there was a fair amount of tension.
  • Just over four in ten, 45%, believe there is more racial tolerance in Britain today than there was ten years ago – very similar to the results when this question was asked in 2009.  One in five think there is less racial tolerance than ten years ago (an improvement from 28% in 2009), while 31% think there has been little change (was 26% in 2009).
  • The majority, 67%, are broadly optimistic that in 10 years Britain will be a more diverse and tolerant place to live.  This is a trend question wording from 2009, when 49% agreed they were optimistic, so we can measure how results change over time. 
  • Half think that, generally speaking, Britain’s public services treat black (52%) and Asian (53%) people the same as white people.  However, 33% believe that black people are treated worse, and 27% believe that Asian people are treated worse.  Very few (4% and 7% respectively) think that black or Asian people are treated better than white people.
  • People were asked about the murder of Stephen Lawrence and subsequent inquiry, and whether they felt there would be similar failings if another police investigation such as that was carried out below.  Four in ten (41%) agreed there would be similar failings, while 34% disagreed.  This is slightly worse than when the question was asked in 2009, when 36% thought there would be failings in a police investigation, and 40% disagreed.
  • Just over one in three, 37%, believe that it is at least very likely that there will be a black, Asian or mixed race Prime Minister in the next 10-20 years, up from 21% in 2009.  However, 40% think this is only fairly likely and 22% say it is not very likely or certain not to happen (although this had almost halved from 42% in 2009)

BAME views

  • Just over 120 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people were interviewed as part of this survey, roughly in line with the general adult population but still a small sub-group for analysis, which means findings need to be interpreted with caution given the wider margin of error on a small sample size.  
  • On several measures there is little difference between the views of white and BAME participants in the survey.  The vast majority of BAME respondents say they would be happy if their child married someone from another ethnic group, and disagree that to be “truly British you have to be White” (although they are marginally more likely to agree with this statement, albeit still a small minority).  Similarly, just under half think there is more racial tolerance than 10 years ago, although as many think there is still a fair amount of tension as the wider population.
  • However, BAME respondents are more likely to think that black and Asian people are treated worse by public services than white people, and they are also slightly less optimistic that there will be a BAME Prime Minister in the next 10 to 20 years.  They are also more likely to strongly agree that the failings identified by the Stephen Lawrence inquiry would still exist in similar police investigations today.

Commenting on the findings, Kully Kaur-Ballagan, Research Director at Ipsos MORI, said:

These findings show that on a personal level, people are more positive about racial diversity, for example, saying they would be happy for their child to marry someone from a different ethnic background and the fact that the overwhelming majority of people reject that being British means being white.  But the study highlights that perceptions of systemic racism are still prevalent with around three in ten believing that black and Asian people are treated worse by public services than white, and there is still a lack of confidence that the police have addressed all the failings highlighted by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.  As the Black Lives Matter protests have highlighted, many people still think there is lots of work to be done in addressing inequalities. 

(Ipsos MORI)

June 15, 2020

Source: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/attitudes-race-and-inequality-great-britain

643-43-09/Poll

COVID-19: 70% of key workers are worried for family’s health

Plurality of key workers also say they can’t fully do their jobs while social distancing

The UK is yet to return to any semblance of normality, with retailers figuring out how to offer socially-distanced shopping, hospitality still waiting for a solution and schools yet to fully reopen. And YouGov polling reveals that the majority of key workers are concerned for the health of their family and those they live with.

Overall 70% of key workers are worried for the health of those they live with during the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly a quarter (23%) very worried.

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Levels of concern are similar across all groups of key workers, however, those working in logistics, manufacturing and retail are most concerned (74%). Some 71% of healthcare workers are also worried, compared to 67% and 66% of educational workers and those in safety and defence, respectively.

However, the research also revealed that key workers are less concerned for their own personal health than that of their families and housemates. In comparison to the 70% who are worried for the health of those they live with, only 53% of key workers are also concerned for themselves.

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Again, those working in logistics, manufacturing and retail are the most worried (56%), with workers in the safety and defence sectors more likely to say they are not worried concerned.

Half of healthcare workers (55%) are concerned for their own health due to the pandemic, as well as 53% of teachers and other workers in education roles who say they also worry for their health.

This concern for health could stem from working conditions, with the plurality (36%) of key workers saying they cannot complete most of their job functions if they maintain safe social distancing. Only 18% of key workers overall say they can do their entire job while keeping two metres from colleagues. Another 18% say they cannot fulfil any of their job functions while social distancing.

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Workers in the logistics, manufacturing and retail sectors are most likely to be able to do their entire job without breaking social distancing (39%) suggesting their concerns for health could be down to other factors, such as handling merchandise or money.

Over half (57%) of healthcare workers say they can perform most of or all of their job functions within social-distancing guidelines. However, approaching a quarter (24%) of healthcare workers say they cannot keep to the two metre at all when at work, with 31% saying they can only perform some functions while doing so.

Teachers have been in the news with schools in England opening and others preparing to receive students for the first time in months. However, just 3% of workers in education say they can maintain the social-distancing rules when at work. The majority (59%) of workers in this sector are able to perform only some, but not most of their functions if they adhere to guidelines, with 20% saying they are completely unable to fulfil their job roles if socially-distancing.

(YouGov)

June 20, 2020

Source: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/06/20/covid-19-key-workers-health-social-distance

643-43-10/Poll

How useful is an undergraduate degree?

Large numbers of degree-educated Brits end up working in a different field, but a majority still say university was worthwhile

This year’s university applicants must make their final choices by tomorrow (18 June) despite uncertainties over whether teaching will be moved online. Can they learn anything from how degree-educated Brits feel about their studies now?

The good news first: Most people with a degree say going to university was worthwhile. Gaining knowledge and skills is the reason that ranks highest among graduates at 87%.

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But Freshers’ Week on Zoom may not live up to the experiences of past graduates. University life is important, with 76% saying their degree was worth it for the experiences they had as a student.

Just under two thirds say better career prospects (65%) and making new friends  (64%) made their degree a good investment.

Many people choose the wrong degree

YouGov research shows that 44% of workers with a degree work in an entirely different field to their studies. About a third work in a related profession, while a minority of 23% have stuck with their subject.

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This does not necessarily mean that getting a degree is a waste of time. Only 8% of all graduates wish they hadn’t gone to university at all.

But many seem to choose subjects they end up regretting. Nearly two in five Brits with a degree (38%) would choose a different one if they could decide again. This leaves just under half (46%) who would stick with their original choice.

A degree is useful… if you stick with what you studied

Many employed degree-educated Brits (46%) say what they learned at university is not applicable to their day-to-day tasks on the job. This includes 17% who say it’s not at all useful.

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Three in ten also believe their qualification made little difference when job-hunting, including 13% who say it was ‘not at all’ helpful.

These figures should be seen in the light of that only a small group work with what they studied. Among this group, a large majority say it was useful for finding a job (89%) and for their day to day tasks at work (80%).

Brits who do a job that’s related to their degree subject also largely believe it has been useful. Nearly four out of five say their qualification helped when job-hunting and 63% believe it makes them better at their job.

The number of people who say they have not benefitted from their degree is, as one would expect, much higher for those who work with something completely unrelated to their studies. About half (53%) say it didn’t help them find a job, including a quarter who believe it was not at all useful. Two thirds also say they can’t apply what they learnt to tasks at work.

On the flip side, this means that even among graduates who have chosen a new career path after university, 45% still believe their degree made job-hunting easier, while a third believe it makes them better at their job.

Higher fees, more regretful graduates? Not quite…

There’s no obvious correlation between how much people pay to go to university and how they feel about their choice later in life.

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In fact, only 4% of graduates who paid £9,000 per year to study in England regret going to university. This is the lowest figure when comparing graduates who paid different fees. But the numbers might change over time, as many people in this group are still at the beginning of their career.

People who studied in England and paid £1,000 a year report the highest level of dissatisfaction - one in seven (14%) regret going to university. The most apparent reason is that they started their studies between 1998 and 2005, meaning many would have been recent graduates or trying to enter the job market when the financial crisis hit.

This indicates that more so than missing out on fun experiences, current students’ feelings about the value of their degree will hinge on the unemployment level in the years after coronavirus.

Among those who studied for free in England, 7% regret going to university – which is just below the average among all graduates at 8%.

(YouGov)

June 17, 2020

Source: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/education/articles-reports/2020/06/17/how-useful-undergraduate-degree

NORTH AMERICA

643-43-11/Poll

U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low

American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are "extremely proud" (42%) or "very proud" (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup's initial measurement in 2001.

Pride

Line graph. Ratings of US adults pride in being an American. One line is the percentage who have said they are extremely proud since 2001 and the other line is the extremely and very proud trend. Both ratings are at the lowest point now. The extremely/very proud line is 63% and extremely is 42%.

At the same time, 15% of Americans say they are "moderately proud," 12% "only a little proud" and 9% "not at all proud."

These latest data are from a May 28-June 4 poll, which also found 20% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and presidential approval fell back to 39%. The poll's field period encompassed the arrests of the police officers charged in Floyd's death as well as the nationwide protests that were sparked by the incident and President Donald Trump's controversial responses to them.

The percentage of Americans expressing extreme pride in the country has been declining over the past 20 years, especially recently. Just over half, 55%, felt extreme pride in the initial January 2001 reading, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the three subsequent years, between 65% and 70% were extremely proud as the public rallied around the flag. By 2005, that reading fell to 61% and remained steady until 2015 when it dropped to 54%. The current reading is the sixth consecutive year since then that it has fallen to a new low in Gallup's trend.

Republicans' Pride Has Dropped in Past Year

Republicans have historically been more likely than Democrats and independents to say they are extremely proud to be American throughout the past 20 years. Although Republicans still report more acute pride than Democrats and independents, the latest poll finds a 9-percentage-point decrease in Republicans' national pride. This marks the largest year-over-year decline in the percentage of Republicans who say they are extremely proud. There was not meaningful change in the past year in the percentage of independents (41%) or Democrats (24%) who say they are extremely proud to be Americans.

Proud-byParty

Line graph. Ratings of US adults extreme pride in being an American among Republicans, Democrats and independents. Currently 67% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 24% of Democrats say they are extremely proud to be American. While Democrats and independents have remained the same as last year, Republican pride has fallen 11 percentage points, the largest drop among the group.

Expressions of national pride have become politicized in recent years, much like U.S. attitudes on other issues such as climate change and labor unions. Much of this has occurred since Trump became president in 2017, with Democratic pride falling off dramatically since then. Last year saw a record 54-point gap in the percentages of Republicans and Democrats who were extremely proud to be Americans. The gap is narrower this year -- 43 points -- because of the decline in Republican pride but remains much larger than before.

American Pride Among Other Key Demographic Groups

Since 2016, extreme pride is down among all major subgroups. And this measure of national pride is at its lowest among several demographic subgroups that have been consistently less likely to express extreme pride over the years. These groups, which are typically Democratic-leaning, include young adults aged 18-29, women, college graduates and nonwhites.

Extremely Proud to Be an American, by Subgroup

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

%

%

%

%

%

Men

53

51

51

48

50

Women

50

51

44

43

34

White

54

55

54

50

49

Nonwhite

45

44

33

36

24

18 to 29

34

43

33

24

20

30 to 49

51

51

42

38

42

50 to 64

64

50

56

57

48

65 and older

55

60

58

63

53

College graduate

47

47

39

41

34

Not a college graduate

54

54

52

47

46

GALLUP

Notably, extreme pride among whites has fallen below 50% for the first time and nonwhites' is 24%. Racially charged incidents involving police and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement have increasingly contributed to a national discussion about the challenges blacks face in society and likely also factor into the decrease in American pride among nonwhites.

(Gallup USA)

June 15, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312644/national-pride-falls-record-low.aspx

643-43-12/Poll

Americans More Upbeat About Personal Finances

Slightly more Americans today than two months ago rate their personal financial situation positively. A May 28-June 4 Gallup poll finds 53% of U.S. adults describing their personal finances as either "excellent" or "good," compared with 49% in early April, when most of the country was under stay-at-home orders, and the effects of these on the economy were more uncertain.

Americans are still not as positive about their finances as they were in 2019 (56%) but remain much more upbeat than during the 2007-2009 Great Recession and ensuing years of high unemployment.

https://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/zg-85emvwuotzway6yjnqa.png

Line graph. Currently, 41% of Americans say their financial situation is getting better and 37% say it is getting worse. In April, 50% said their situation was getting worse and 35% better.

In addition to the 53% evaluating their financial situation positively, 33% describe their finances as being "only fair" and 14% as "poor."

The increase in ratings of personal finances may reflect the return of millions of Americans to work, though unemployment remains higher than at any point since the Great Depression. The poll's fieldwork was completed before the federal government's June 5 announcement of an unexpected decline in the unemployment rate, from 14.7% to 13.3%.

Compared with the April survey, ratings of personal finances have improved the most among adults aged 65 and older. Also, middle-income Americans' ratings are similar to what they were in April, while those of people living in upper- and lower-income households are modestly better.

Younger and lower-income Americans are far less likely than others to say their finances are excellent or good.

Changes in Ratings of Personal Financial Situation, April vs. June

Figures are percentage rating their financial situation as excellent or good

April 2020

June 2020

Change

%

%

pct. pts.

Annual household income

Less than $40,000

21

28

+7

$40,000-$99,999

56

58

+2

$100,000 or more

76

81

+5

Age

18-29 years

38

39

+1

30-49 years

49

50

+1

50-64 years

55

58

+3

65+ years

56

65

+9

GALLUP

There is a strong political slant to personal finance ratings -- 70% of Republicans, 49% of independents and 47% of Democrats rate their personal finances positively. Republicans (66%) and independents (42%) were less positive in April than they are now, while Democrats' assessments (46%) were similar.

Americans More Optimistic About the Direction of Their Finances

Forty-one percent of Americans say their personal financial situation is getting better, while 37% say it is getting worse. In early April, when states were still pondering when and how to reopen their economies, Americans were far more pessimistic, with half believing their situation was getting worse, compared with 35% saying it was getting better.

Even with the recent improvement, Americans' outlook remains well below where it was last year, when the majority thought their situation was improving.

https://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/zycvvzzl7ecfupmcqemwcw.png

Line graph. 53% of Americans, up from 49% in April, rate their personal finances as excellent or good. Last year, 56% rated their finances positively.

Lower-income Americans have shown the greatest improvement in their financial outlook, with an 11-point increase in the percentage of the group saying their financial situation is getting better. Now, 38% of those whose annual household income is less than $40,000 see their situation improving, compared with 43% of those in middle-income households and 45% of those in upper-income households.

Younger Americans' personal financial outlook, which cratered in April, has held steady at that lower level. The percentage of young adults who said their financial situation is getting better dropped from 79% in April 2019 to 46% in April 2020, and is currently 48%.

Still, young adults remain slightly more optimistic about the trajectory of their finances than older adults. All older age groups show increases of seven points in the belief their finances are improving.

Changes in Perceptions That Financial Situation Is Improving, April vs. June

Figures are the percentage who say their financial situation is getting better

April 2020

June 2020

Change

%

%

pct. pts.

Annual household income

Less than $40,000

27

38

+11

$40,000-$99,999

40

43

+3

$100,000 or more

39

45

+6

Age

18-29 years

46

48

+2

30-49 years

37

44

+7

50-64 years

31

38

+7

65+ years

27

34

+7

GALLUP

Similar to ratings of their current financial situation, Republicans and independents are more optimistic about the direction of their finances now than they were in April, while Democrats' opinions are unchanged. The 61% of Republicans who say their finances are getting better is up from 47% in May, while there has been an eight-point increase among independents (to 40% from 32%). Twenty-seven percent of Democrats now say their financial situation is improving, compared with 28% who said the same in April.

Implications

The coronavirus has caused widespread damage to the U.S. economy, with the unemployment rate reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression, and economic growth -- as measured by the gross domestic product -- expected to drop by as much as half in the second quarter.

But Americans may feel the worst is over. Their ratings of their personal finances are still generally positive -- and better than they were in April, when millions of Americans were not working, Americans had not received their stimulus checks, and states were still deciding how to reopen businesses. During the last recession, Americans' ratings of their finances stayed low for several years before recovering.

The immediate and long-term future of the economy remains uncertain, particularly if new coronavirus infections increase -- or even spike -- rather than decline. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expects a significant contraction in economic growth, and high unemployment to persist for the remainder of the year. The House of Representatives has already passed a large stimulus package, while the Senate and the Trump administration are deciding whether additional legislation is necessary.

(Gallup USA)

June 17, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312722/americans-upbeat-personal-finances.aspx

643-43-13/Poll

Parents Slightly Favor Full-Time, In-Person School This Fall

As the 2019-2020 school year that was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic ends, U.S. parents are more likely to prefer their children attend full-time, in-person school this fall as opposed to having full- or part-time distance learning. Fifty-six percent of parents with children who attend a K-12 school prefer their children's instruction be fully in person this fall. Meanwhile, 37% prefer a hybrid program in which students attend school part time and do some distance learning, while 7% want full-time distance learning for their children.

Slim Majority of U.S. Parents Favor Full-Time, In-Person Schooling This Fall

In the fall, would you want your children's school to have full-time distance/remote learning, have a modified program where they attend school part time and do some distance/remote learning, or have your children attend school full time?

All K-12 parents

%

Full-time, in-person school

56

Part-time school with some distance learning

37

Full-time distance learning

7

Based on parents of U.S. K-12 schoolchildren

GALLUP PANEL, MAY 25-JUNE 8, 2020

These results are from Gallup's coronavirus tracking survey and are based on web interviews with more than 1,200 parents of K-12 schoolchildren.

Concern about the coronavirus is a major predictor of what type of schooling parents prefer. Overall, 46% of parents say they are very or somewhat worried about their children getting the coronavirus. Among those parents, 71% prefer their children have part-time (59%) or full-time (12%) distance learning, with only 29% favoring full-time, in-person schooling.

In contrast, 79% of parents who are not worried about their children getting the coronavirus want them to attend full-time, in-person school this fall.

Preference for Fall Schooling Related to Concern About the Coronavirus

Worried children will get coronavirus

Not worried children will get coronavirus

%

%

Full-time, in-person school

29

79

Part-time school with some distance learning

59

18

Full-time distance learning

12

2

Based on parents of U.S. K-12 schoolchildren

GALLUP PANEL, MAY 25-JUNE 8, 2020

Given that coronavirus concern is strongly correlated with political party affiliation, there is a large partisan gap in parents' preferences for fall schooling. Eighty-two percent of Republican parents want their children to attend school full time in the fall, compared with 63% of independents but only 33% of Democrats. The majority of Democratic parents, 57%, want partial in-person schooling and partial distance learning.

Working parents (59%) are more inclined than nonworking parents (46%) to favor full-time, in-person schooling for their children.

Majority of Parents Had Difficult Time With Remote Learning

Parents may be more relieved to have the 2019-2020 school year end than any prior school year. Parents whose children's schools were closed to in-person attendance were more likely to describe the remote learning experience as "difficult" rather than "easy" for themselves and their spouse or partner.

Fifty-six percent of parents said remote learning was difficult for their household, including 16% who described it as "very difficult." In contrast, 44% said remote learning was easy, including 8% who said it was "very easy" for their family.

Six in 10 working parents said remote learning was difficult for them, compared with 44% of nonworking parents.

Also, likely reflecting the ages of their children, younger parents (those under age 45) were significantly more likely than older parents to say remote learning was difficult -- 60% to 49%, respectively.

Unmarried parents are also more likely than married parents to describe remote learning as difficult, and women are more likely than men to say the same.

Parents' Experience With Remote Learning

How easy or difficult has your child's remote learning been for you (and/or your spouse/partner)?

Easy/Very easy

Difficult/Very difficult

%

%

All K-12 parents

44

56

Aged 18-44

39

60

Aged 45+

51

49

Working

40

60

Not working

55

44

Married

47

54

Not married

35

65

Women

40

59

Men

49

51

Based on parents of U.S. K-12 schoolchildren

GALLUP PANEL, MAY 25-JUNE 8, 2020

There are no meaningful differences in parents' experience with remote learning by their educational attainment, household income level or race.

Parents' experience with distance learning this spring and their preferences for fall instruction for their children are modestly related. Sixty percent who described the remote learning experience as difficult would prefer their children be in school full time this fall, compared with 51% of those who said remote learning was easy for them.

Bottom Line

At a time when social distancing practices designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus are easing but still very prevalent in the U.S., a slim majority of parents would like to see their children attend full-time, in-person school this fall. But a substantial minority of parents are hesitant to have their children resume their normal schooling.

Parents' concern about the coronavirus is largely influencing their preferences, mainly whether they favor full-time, in-person attendance or a partial remote learning/partial in-person attendance model. This may indicate that parents are attempting to balance their children's safety with their possible concerns about their children's academic progress. Earlier in the pandemic, about half of parents expressed concern about their children's education.

Parents may also be attempting to support their children's mental health, as about three in 10 say their children's emotional or mental health is already suffering due to social distancing and the closure of schools and businesses.

With the beginning of the next school year fast approaching, K-12 school leaders are developing plans for the 2020-2021 academic year. Those plans almost certainly will involve enhanced safety measures to keep students, teachers and staff safe, regardless of whether children attend school in person either full time or part time.

(Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312674/parents-slightly-favor-full-time-person-school-fall.aspx

643-43-14/Poll

Americans' Views of Trump's Character Firmly Established

Less than five months before the general election, Americans' views of President Donald Trump across four key characteristics are largely stable, and each is within five percentage points of Gallup's lowest readings since his inauguration. Less than half of Americans see the 45th president as a strong and decisive leader (49%), able to manage the government effectively (42%), caring about the needs of people like them (42%), and honest and trustworthy (36%).

https://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/lb4b8--42kw_v3omph5v2q.png

Line graph. Americans' views of whether four character traits apply to President Donald Trump since February 2017. Currently, 49% think he is a strong and decisive leader; 42% say he is able to manage the government effectively; 42% say he cares about the needs of people like them; and 36% think he is honest and trustworthy. Each reading is within five percentage points of Gallup's lowest since Trump took office.

Gallup has tracked Americans' views of these four positive character traits of Trump since shortly after his inauguration in 2017. The immediate post-inauguration readings for each are the highest of his presidency so far. Strong leadership is the only one of the qualities that a majority of U.S. adults have ever said applies to Trump. For the past two years, the slimmest of majorities have said he is a strong and decisive leader, but that has slipped slightly in the current reading.

The latest findings are from a May 28-June 4 poll in which Trump's job approval rating fell to 39% amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's death while in police custody in Minneapolis. When Gallup last measured Trump's character, in June 2019, his job approval was slightly higher than now, at 43%.

Historical Context for Presidential Characteristics

Three of the four qualities from the latest poll were also asked about Barack Obama at roughly the same point in his presidency. Americans were only slightly more likely to say Obama was a strong and decisive leader and able to manage government effectively than say the same of Trump now. Yet, the reading for Obama's honesty and trustworthiness dwarfs Trump's, 60% vs. 36%.

In June 1996, Americans were more likely to view Bill Clinton as honest and trustworthy than they are to view Trump this way now, by 10 points. This was before the revelations about Clinton's involvement with White House intern Monica Lewinsky but during the investigation into the Whitewater real estate matter. However, in January 1999, during his impeachment trial, 24% of Americans viewed Clinton as honest and trustworthy.

Clinton was viewed as much more empathetic than Trump is now at a comparable point in his presidency.

Comparison of Personal Characteristics of Presidents Trump, Obama and Clinton

% Saying each applies to the president

Strong and
decisive leader

Can manage
government effectively

Cares about needs
of people like you

Honest and
trustworthy

%

%

%

%

Trump 2020

49

42

42

36

Obama 2012

53

45

NA

60

Clinton 1996

NA

NA

64

46

Data are from June of each year; NA = not asked

GALLUP

Partisans Diverge Sharply in Their Assessments of Trump's Character

More than four in five Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think Trump is a strong and decisive leader (87%), cares about people like them (83%) and can effectively manage government (82%). The latest readings are down between four and seven points from their post-inauguration highs. Fewer Republicans (72%), though still a solid majority, say Trump is honest and trustworthy, marking a nine-point decline from February 2017.

At the same time, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have continued to offer anemic assessments of Trump, as roughly one in 10 think he is empathetic, honest and effective at managing government. At the start of his presidency, 29% of Democrats considered him a strong and decisive leader, but that reading has slipped 10 points.

Partisans' Views of Donald Trump's Character at the Start of His Presidency and Now

% Saying each applies to the president

Strong and
decisive leader

Cares about needs
of people like you

Can manage
government effectively

Honest and
trustworthy

%

%

%

%

Republicans/Republican leaners

June 2020

87

83

82

72

February 2017

94

89

86

81

Democrats/Democratic leaners

June 2020

19

11

10

9

February 2017

29

9

8

9

GALLUP

Implications

Americans' views of Trump's character appear to be cemented as he approaches the general election in November. His sub-50% ratings across four positive character traits may be a liability for him, as it seems unlikely that he will be able to win votes by touting his personal qualities.

Yet, in 2016, Trump won the presidency despite concerns about his character. Once Gallup has readings on these dimensions for Joe Biden, a clearer picture of the presidential race may emerge. Still, history has shown that presidential job approval is a greater predictor of victory than personality.

(Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312737/americans-views-trump-character-firmly-established.aspx

643-43-15/Poll

Nine in 10 Concerned About Rising Drug Costs Due to COVID-19

A new study by West Health and Gallup finds Americans sensitive to a number of negative developments in healthcare that could result from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly nine in 10 U.S. adults are "very" (55%) or "somewhat" (33%) concerned that the pharmaceutical industry will leverage the COVID-19 pandemic to raise drug prices. The levels of concern among demographic groups are mostly similar, except by party identification. Democrats (66%) are more likely to say they are very concerned than are independents (52%) or Republicans (49%).

Concern Over Rising Drug Prices in Response to COVID-19

How concerned are you that the pharmaceutical industry will take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to increase drug prices?

U.S. total

Democrats

Independents

Republicans

%

%

%

%

Very concerned

55

66

52

49

Somewhat concerned

33

28

35

35

Not at all concerned

12

5

13

16

GALLUP-WEST HEALTH COST OF HEALTHCARE STUDY, MAY 2020

These results are based on completed surveys with 1,016 U.S. adults as a part of an ongoing special study by Gallup and West Health to assess U.S. public opinion on the cost of healthcare. Interviews were conducted May 11-22, 2020.

In addition to concerns over rising drug prices, Americans are also concerned -- to a somewhat lesser extent -- about rising health insurance premiums and the cost of care generally. Overall, 79% are very or somewhat concerned about their health insurance premiums rising and 84% are very or somewhat concerned about the cost of care generally rising, with 41% very concerned about each. The three questions asked were:

  • How concerned are you that the pharmaceutical industry will take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to increase drug prices?
  • How concerned are you that the care required to treat COVID-19 patients will result in increased health insurance premiums next year?
  • How concerned are you that the U.S. health system will take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to increase the cost of care?

Percentage of U.S. Adults "Very Concerned" Over Rising Costs of Prescription Drugs, Insurance, and Healthcare Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

% Very concerned

Rising drug prices

Rising insurance premiums

Rising healthcare costs

%

%

%

U.S. TOTAL

55

41

41

Gender

Women

57

46

48

Men

52

37

33

Race

Nonwhite

59

47

50

White

52

38

36

Annual household income

Less than $40,000

57

49

46

$40,000-<$100,000

51

37

40

$100,000+

56

41

38

Party ID

Democrats

66

49

47

Independents

52

39

43

Republicans

49

37

32

GALLUP-WEST HEALTH COST OF HEALTHCARE STUDY, MAY 2020

Differences in key demographic groups are more readily apparent with concerns over rising costs of health insurance and care generally. Nearly half of women (48%), for example, are very concerned about the general cost of care rising, compared with 33% of men. Also, 50% of nonwhites are very concerned, compared with 36% of whites. Across all three measures, Democrats report the highest levels of concern by political identity.

Extensive Support for Government Negotiation of COVID-19 Drug Price

Amid significant concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic could cause a rise in prices for drugs, insurance and healthcare, a large majority of Americans support direct negotiations by the federal government with the drug manufacturer on the price of a treatment for the disease itself. Nearly nine in 10 (88%) respondents support such an approach, with little differences based on political identity. Significant support exists across all major demographic groups.

Level of Support for Government Negotiation of COVID-19 Treatment Price With Drug Company

If an effective treatment is approved by the FDA for COVID-19, do you think that the federal government should be able to negotiate the price of the treatment with the drug manufacturer?

Supports government negotiation

Opposes government negotiation

%

%

U.S. TOTAL

88

11

Party ID

Democrats

91

7

Independents

87

12

Republicans

89

11

GALLUP-WEST HEALTH COST OF HEALTHCARE STUDY, MAY 2020

Over Half Rate U.S. Response to COVID-19 as Fair or Poor

Concurrent with large-scale support for government pricing negotiation for COVID-19 treatment, evaluations of how the U.S. has responded to the outbreak itself are tepid. When asked to rate the national response to COVID-19 relative to how much the U.S. spends on healthcare, 9% of respondents rate the U.S. response as excellent and another 14% as very good. In contrast, 34% rate the response as poor and 23% as fair.

These evaluations are highly inversely related to both education and income. Among those with postgraduate education, for example, 72% evaluate the response as fair or poor, compared with just 15% who evaluate it as excellent or very good. Political identity also greatly informs perspectives, with 84% of Democrats evaluating the response as fair or poor, compared with 28% of Republicans.

Evaluations of U.S. Response to COVID-19 Relative to Healthcare Expenditures

Relative to how much the U.S. spends on healthcare, do you think that the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?

Excellent/Very good

Good

Fair/Poor

%

%

%

U.S. TOTAL

23

20

57

Education

Postgraduate

15

12

72

College graduate

15

19

65

Some college

24

19

56

High school or less

27

24

49

Annual household income

Less than $40,000

23

24

53

$40,000-<$100,000

26

18

56

$100,000+

19

14

66

Party ID

Democrats

6

10

84

Independents

20

23

57

Republicans

44

25

28

GALLUP-WEST HEALTH COST OF HEALTHCARE STUDY, MAY 2020

Implications

The intersection between the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of healthcare has created wide-ranging ramifications for Americans. Prior West Health/Gallup polling has shown that 14% of Americans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms have been unwilling to seek treatment because of the cost of care, a percentage that is only partially reduced even when infection by the coronavirus is suspected. Two-thirds of Americans, in turn, report an increase in the cost of prescription drugs since 2017, while only 31% report that the Trump administration has made "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of progress on addressing the rising costs of drugs. And 23% report that they lacked the money at least once in the past 12 months for needed prescription drugs. Against this backdrop, the significant concerns about the potential for higher drug prices, health insurance premiums and healthcare as a whole in the wake of the pandemic are understandable.

As Americans brace for a potential second wave of coronavirus infections later this year, leaders would be advised to note that it is not just fear of infection or job loss that is causing concern but also fear of increased costs of prescription drugs, insurance premiums and healthcare generally. Elected officials may as a result consider policy decisions that are designed to curtail these possibilities, assuaging public fears.

(Gallup USA)

June 18, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312641/nine-concerned-rising-drug-costs-due-covid.aspx

643-43-16/Poll

Experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak can vary for Americans of different ages

The COVID-19 outbreak has altered daily life for Americans – from how they work and attend school, to the ways they connect with others, to how they worship. These experiences can vary with age. Here are eight findings from Pew Research Center surveys about how Americans across the age spectrum have experienced the pandemic.

Older U.S. adults see COVID-19 outbreaks as a major threat to their personal health; younger Americans say it is a major threat to their finances1Older Americans are the most likely to see the outbreak as a major threat to their health and the least likely to see it as a threat to their personal financial situation. About half (49%) of those 65 and older said in a late April-early May survey that the coronavirus is a major threat to their health. But fewer in this age group – 32% – say it is a major threat to their personal finances.

Meanwhile, younger Americans are more likely to view the coronavirus as a major threat to their personal finances than as a major threat to their personal health. Four-in-ten adults ages 18 to 29 say the outbreak is a major threat to their financial situation, and 26% say it is a threat to their health. Those ages 30 to 49 are 9 percentage points more likely to say the outbreak is a major threat to their finances than to say it is a major threat to their health (43% vs. 34%).

Younger adults more likely to have experienced lost job, wages during COVID-19 downturn2Job disruption during the COVID-19 shutdown is most common among adults younger than 50. In an early April survey, 54% of those ages 18 to 29 and 49% of those 30 to 49 said they or someone in their household had experienced job or wage loss because of the coronavirus outbreak. This compares with 42% of those ages 50 to 64 and a quarter of those 65 and older.

One-quarter of workers ages 16 to 24 have lost their jobs during the coronavirus downturn, according to a Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Young adults also tend to work in the industries most vulnerable to job loss related to the coronavirus shutdown. Among the 19.3 million workers ages 16 to 24 in the economy overall, 9.2 million, or nearly half, are employed in service-sector establishments. In areas with more severe COVID-19 outbreaks, employers in these industries were among the most likely to close.

3Majorities of adults under 50 say the internet has been essential to them during the coronavirus outbreak, compared with about a third of those 65 and older. An early April survey found that as people turned to the internet to replace in-person social and business encounters, about six-in-ten adults under 30 (62%) said the internet has been essential to them during the outbreak, while 65% of adults ages 30 to 49 felt this way. This compares with about half (49%) of those ages 50 to 64 and 31% of those 65 and older.

The same survey found that younger adults were more likely than others to have held virtual parties and gatherings with their family and friends, watched concerts or other live-streamed events and participated in online fitness activities. For example, 48% of adults ages 18 to 29 had a virtual party or gathering online, compared with about two-in-ten of those 50 and older.

In U.S., young adults more likely to view internet as essential during coronavirus outbreak, more likely to have had virtual gatherings

4Differences by age are modest when it comes to knowing someone diagnosed as having COVID-19 and knowing someone hospitalized or who has died from it. The Center’s late April-early May survey showed no noteworthy differences across age groups in who reported knowing someone in these situations. Overall, 28% of Americans said they personally know someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 20% said they know someone who has been hospitalized or who has died from it. When it comes to knowing someone who has been officially diagnosed, racial, ethnic and regional differences exist.

Younger Americans more likely to report high levels of emotional distress during COVID-19 pandemic5Younger adults are more likely to report feeling emotional distress as the pandemic unfolds. A March survey asked people if they had experienced five different types of psychological distress in the past seven days, including anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and loneliness. Adults 18 to 29 were more than twice as likely to fall into the “high distress” category than those 65 and older (33% vs. 15%). A repeat of that question in late April showed a similar pattern. The other categories were “medium distress” and “low distress.”

6Americans ages 50 and older are more likely to say their faith is stronger because of the pandemic. In late April, a Center survey found that adults 50 and older were more likely than those under 50 to say their own religious faith has become stronger as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, 29% of those 65 and older reported their faith has become stronger, compared with 17% of those ages 18 to 29.

This trend reflects the wide generational gap in religious affiliation and attendance among Americans.

7U.S. adults under 50 are more likely to say that, as coronavirus cases were first reported around the world, President Donald Trump was “too slow” to take major steps to address the threat of the outbreak to the United States. Three-quarters of those ages 18 to 49 say this, compared with 55% of adults ages 50 and older.

In general, younger Americans are less likely to approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president and are more likely to disagree with him on a range of issues. Younger Republicans are also more likely than older ones to say they dislike the way Trump conducts himself as president.

8When it comes to foreign affairs, American adults under 30 are more likely than older adults to expect no changes in international cooperation once the coronavirus crisis is over, a late April survey found. Just under half (46%) of Americans ages 18 to 29 think the status quo will be maintained, compared with only about a third of 30- to 49-year-olds (29%) and those 50 and older (32%).

(Pew Research Center)

June 16, 2020

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/16/experiences-with-the-covid-19-outbreak-can-vary-for-americans-of-different-ages/

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Before protests, black Americans said religious sermons should address race relations

For black Americans, faith and racial justice have long intersected. Throughout history, houses of worship served as central gathering places where black communities discussed political issues and civic action. This often took the form of protest strategy meetings and rallies. But political activism also infused the sermons, hymns and other religious content of many black congregations.

Given that tradition, black Americans and white Americans have differing views on the role that political topics such as race relations and criminal justice reform should play in religious sermons, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year, before the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests.

Across denominations, black Americans say topics such as race relations should be a priority for sermons; most white Americans disagree

Six-in-ten black adults (62%) say it is important for houses of worship to address “political topics such as immigration and race relations” – including 23% who say covering these topics is “essential.” By contrast, 36% of white Americans say it is important for sermons to deal with these topics, and only 8% say it is essential. Four-in-ten white Americans (42%) say these themes should not be discussed in sermons. Hispanics are more divided on this issue than black or white Americans are; about half (53%) say it is important for sermons to cover political issues.

How we did this

Black Americans more likely than whites to hear a sermon addressing race relations, criminal justice reformIn addition, black Americans are more likely than white or Hispanic Americans to say they have heard political topics such as race relations and criminal justice reform addressed in sermons.

Among those who attend religious services at least a few times a year, four-in-ten black adults say they heard sermons on race relations or racial inequality in their house of worship in the year prior to taking the survey (which was conducted in January and February of 2020) compared with only about a quarter of white (23%) and Hispanic (28%) attenders.

There is a similar pattern on the topic of criminal justice reform. Black Americans are nearly three times as likely as white adults to say they heard a sermon dealing with criminal justice reform (32% vs. 12%) in 2019, with Hispanics falling between the two (20%).

Within racial groups, there are only small differences across religious traditions on these questions. Roughly equal shares of white evangelical Protestants (39%), white Protestants who are not born-again or evangelical (35%) and white Catholics (40%) say it is important for sermons to talk about political topics such as immigration and race relations. Among black Protestants, 62% say it is important f0r sermons to cover these topics, an opinion shared by seven-in-ten (71%) black Americans of other faiths. And although most religiously unaffiliated Americans (those who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular) do not regularly attend church services, the views of unaffiliated white adults (32%) roughly align with those of affiliated white adults on this question, and the views of unaffiliated black adults (61%) are similar to those of affiliated black adults.

There were too few black respondents who attend religious services at least a few times a year to compare their experiences with sermons across religious traditions, such as black Catholics vs. black Protestants. However, among white respondents who do attend this often, the survey finds little difference in the percentages of evangelicals (12%), Protestants who are not evangelical (14%) and Catholics (10%) who say they heard a sermon about criminal justice reform in 2019. Those figures are far lower than the share of churchgoing black Protestants (32%) who report that they heard a sermon on the same topic. And although white Protestants who are not evangelical (29%) are somewhat more likely than white evangelicals (22%) or white Catholics (18%) to say they have heard a sermon about race relations, they are still less likely than black Protestants (40%) to say this.

(Pew Research Center)

June 15, 2020

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/06/15/before-protests-black-americans-said-sermons-should-address-race-relations/

AUSTRALIA

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High satisfaction ratings for chemists and pharmacies as Australia faced bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly halfway through 2020 it’s fair to say this year has presented some unprecedented challenges to many Australians.

The year began with devastating bushfires raging across much of Australia with millions of hectares burned and the loss of thousands of homes around the country. Over the summer holiday period regional towns were under severe threat and there were striking images on a daily basis, particularly from hard hit regions in South-Eastern NSW and Eastern Victoria.

Dozens of Australians were killed by the fires, but the Royal Commission into the Bushfires convened in recent weeks has heard the biggest ‘killer’ from the fires was the smoke that blanketed Australian cities for days, and sometimes weeks, on end. An estimated 445 Australians were killed by the smoke haze and up to 80 percent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point.

This smoky haze forced many Australians to wear masks to protect their respiratory systems and also provided a preview of what would happen only weeks later as COVID-19 struck. Suddenly masks were the hot item to own, as well as a copious supply of hand sanitiser, gloves – particularly sanitary gloves, and of course toilet paper – all of which are (usually) available at your local chemist or pharmacy.

The latest research from Roy Morgan conducted in the year to March 2020 shows that 12 million Australians (57%) shop at chemists/ pharmacies in an average four weeks. The leading stores including Priceline Pharmacy, My Chemist, TerryWhite Chemmart and Chemist Warehouse each have well over 1 million customers.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that the good news for chemists and pharmacies is that the 12 million customers of Australia’s chemists/ pharmacies rate their customer satisfaction amongst the highest of any of the more than 30 industries Roy Morgan measures on a weekly basis:

“Overall customer satisfaction for chemists/pharmacies averages a very high 90.5% and is in third position out of 32 industries. Chemists/Pharmacies rank behind only highly rated car manufacturers (92.3%) and hardware stores (90.8%) led by Australia’s most trusted brand Bunnings.

“This high satisfaction for the industry is across the board and the top eight chemists and pharmacies are separated by a total of only 5% points.

“Australia’s handling of COVID-19 has generally been regarded as one of the world’s best and perhaps this should be no surprise as prior to the pandemic Australia was rated the nation fourth most equipped to deal with a pandemic

“Alongside the highly rated medical system Australia’s health workers such as nurses, doctors and pharmacists are rated as the three most highly trust professions by Australians. In turn, the chemists and pharmacies we turn to when we need to patch ourselves up, combat a sore throat, or get a flu shot, are an integral part of the well-functioning health and medical ‘eco-system’ in Australia.

“In an industry with such high satisfaction across the board it is hard to single out brands but so far in 2020 TerryWhite Chemmart has excelled and won the first three Customer Satisfaction Awards. TerryWhite Chemmart has averaged customer satisfaction of 92% so far in 2020 to be just ahead of Chemist Warehouse, Priceline Pharmacy, Amcal and Guardian – all averaging at least 89%.

“To go deeper on this or any other topic, just ask Roy Morgan, home of Australia’s most comprehensive consumer insight data.”

Roy Morgan Industry Customer Satisfaction Rankings – March 2020Chemists/Pharmacies are 3rd of 32

 

https://www.roymorgan.com/~/media/files/morgan%20poll/2020s/2020/june/8440-c1.png?la=enSource: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2019–March 2020, n= 13,208. Base: Australians 14+.

How Roy Morgan monitors and scores customer satisfaction across companies and brands for the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards

For over 78 years Roy Morgan has collected objective, independent information on consumers. Our customer satisfaction ratings are collected from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of approximately 50,000 Australians annually – the world’s largest ongoing single source survey.

This data is used as the input into determining the winners of the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards. To be eligible for an Award an organisation’s product or service is included within the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction list for Roy Morgan Single Source and has a minimum sample size.

(Roy Morgan)

June 16, 2020

Source: https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8440-chemists-pharmacies-june-2020-202006150612

MULTICOUNTRY STUDIES

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750 Million Struggling to Meet Basic Needs With No Safety Net

Imagine being unable to afford food or to put a roof over your head, or maybe you are struggling to do both. On top of this, you don't have family or friends who can help you.

Now, imagine this is all happening and a pandemic hits.

Gallup's new Basic Needs Vulnerability Index, based on surveys in 142 countries in 2019, suggests this was the reality for hundreds of millions worldwide just as COVID-19 arrived.

About one in seven of the world's adults -- or about 750 million people -- fall into this index's "High Vulnerability" group, which means they are struggling to afford either food or shelter, or struggling to afford both, and don't have friends or family to count on if they were in trouble.

Globally, at least some adults in every country fall into the High Vulnerability group, which is important because Gallup finds people in this group are potentially more at risk in almost every area of their lives. Worldwide, these percentages range from 1% in wealthy countries such as Denmark and Singapore to roughly 50% in places such as Benin and Afghanistan.

20200602_vulnerability@2x

Heat map. People in the High Vulnerability group on Gallup's Basic Needs Vulnerability Index say there were times in the past year when they were unable to afford food or shelter or say they struggled to afford both and say they do not have family or friends who could help them in times of trouble. The percentages worldwide who fell into this category ranged from 1% to 50%.

Gallup's Basic Needs Vulnerability Index gauges people's potential exposure to risk from economic and other types of shocks like a pandemic. Beyond measuring people's ability to afford food and shelter, this index also folds in whether people have personal safety nets -- people who can help them when they are in trouble.

People worldwide fall into one of three groups:

High Vulnerability: People in this group say there were times in the past year when they were unable to afford food or shelter or say they struggled to afford both and say they do not have family or friends who could help them in times of trouble.

Moderate Vulnerability: People in this group say there were times in the past year when they were unable to afford food or shelter or say they struggled to afford both, and they do have family or friends to help them in times of trouble.

Low Vulnerability: People in this group say there were not times in the past year when they struggled to afford food or shelter and say they do have family or friends to help them if they were in trouble.

Before the pandemic, most of the world was at least moderately vulnerable, falling into either the High Vulnerability group (14%) or the Moderate Vulnerability group (39%). The rest, 47%, fell into the Low Vulnerability group.

The life experiences in these three groups illustrate the difference that not having family and friends to count on in times of trouble can make in people's lives.

Highly Vulnerable Most Likely to Experience Health Problems, Experience Pain

While people in the High Vulnerability group are potentially more at risk in almost every area of their lives than those in the other two groups, they are particularly at risk when it comes to their health.

More than four in 10 (41%) of the highly vulnerable say they have health problems that keep them from doing activities that people their age normally do. This percentage drops to 29% among those who are moderately vulnerable and to 14% among those with low vulnerability.

World's Most Vulnerable Most Likely to Have Health Problems

Have health problems

Experienced physical pain

% Yes

% Yes

High vulnerability

41

53

Moderate vulnerability

29

37

Low vulnerability

14

20

Based on 142 countries and territories

GALLUP WORLD POLL, 2019

The same is true for experiences of physical pain. The highly vulnerable are also far more likely to say they experienced physical pain the day before the interview (53% have) compared with 37% in the moderately vulnerable and 20% in the lowest vulnerability group.

Looking at who the highly vulnerable are within the global population reinforces why the greater risks to their health are so important. Globally, people in the high vulnerability group are just as likely to be male or female (14% of each fall into this group), and percentages are similar in the 15 to 29 age group (12%) and 60 and older group (14%).

However, the highly vulnerable are more likely to live in rural (16%) rather than urban areas (10%) and be in the poorest 20% of the population (21%) than the richest 20% of the population (7%).

Highly Vulnerable in Developed and Developing Countries Poor Health in Common

As might be expected, most of the countries with the highest percentage in the High Vulnerability group are a mix of developing economies and notably one emerging economy -- India -- and the countries with the lowest percentage are developed, high-income economies.

Countries With the Highest Percentage of High Vulnerability

High Vulnerability

%

Afghanistan

50

Benin

49

Malawi

36

Togo

34

Sierra Leone

32

Zambia

32

Congo (Brazzaville)

32

Morocco

31

India

30

Those in the High Vulnerability group on the Basic Needs Vulnerability Index were struggling to afford food or shelter, or struggling to afford both, and do not have family or friends to count on in times of trouble.

GALLUP WORLD POLL, 2019

Countries With the Lowest Percentage of High Vulnerability

High Vulnerability

%

United Kingdom

1

Singapore

1

Sweden

1

Denmark

1

Lithuania

1

Iceland

1

Switzerland

1

Those in the High Vulnerability group of Gallup's Basic Needs Vulnerability Index struggled to afford food or shelter, or struggled to afford both, and did not have friends or family to count on in times of trouble.

GALLUP WORLD POLL, 2019

However, regardless of where they are located or their level of development, the highly vulnerable populations look a lot alike. In fact, when it comes to health problems, among the highly vulnerable populations, almost the exact same percentage in developing economies (41%) and high-income economies (42%) report having them.

The highly vulnerable in developing countries are only slightly more likely to report experiencing physical pain (53%) than this group in developed, high-income economies (47%).

Highly Vulnerable in Developed, Developing Economies Experence Similar Health Outcomes

Among the highly vulnerable population

Developed economies

Developing economies

%

%

Have health problems

42

41

Experienced physical pain

47

53

Based on 142 countries and territories

GALLUP WORLD POLL, 2019

Implications

As massive as the highly vulnerable group was before the pandemic, it could have been even larger, taking children and other household members into account. As such, this new layer of vulnerability among populations will be important to monitor as the pandemic threatens to push tens of millions more people into extreme poverty and hunger this year and beyond.

(Gallup USA)

June 16, 2020

Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/312401/750-million-struggling-meet-basic-needs-no-safety-net.aspx

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THE ARAB WORLD’S TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND THE PERILS OF GENERALIZATION

It is no secret that the Arab World has had a prolonged and sustained crisis in governance. This crisis was the primary driver behind the massive protest wave that swept through Arab countries beginning in 2011, leading to political instability and regime collapse, which is still reverberating today. Thus, the questions of trust in government and evaluation of governance are perennially relevant for Arab publics. Even in