Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: Pew Research Global Attitudes and Trends; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President-elect Biden declared during the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that "the world is watching." Indeed, the world was watching long before that.

Why it matters: Biden has made restoring America's global image, leadership and alliances the cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda. That was a tall order even before audiences around the world watched a mob forcefully disrupt America's democratic process.

By the numbers: A Pew survey conducted in July — in the midst of the pandemic, racial justice protests and the U.S. election campaign — found that across 13 allied countries, a median of just 34% said they viewed the U.S. positively.

  • In nearly every country, those numbers had fallen precipitously from 2019, when majorities in most of the countries viewed Trump negatively, but not America itself.
  • In Japan, 68% of respondents viewed the U.S. favorably as of 2019, a number that had held fairly steady for a decade. This year, it fell to 41%. The falls were nearly as sharp in countries like South Korea (77% to 59%) and Australia (50% to 33%).
  • Back in 2015, a median of 68% in Pew's poll viewed the U.S. favorably.

Breaking it down: Those numbers aren't just a reflection of antipathy to Trump, though his global favorability ratings are strikingly low (19% in the U.K., for example).

  • Majorities in most countries believe the U.S. had done a "very bad" job handling the pandemic. A median of just 15% across the 13 countries felt the U.S. response was "somewhat" or "very" good.
  • Another Pew poll found a sharp decline in the belief that the U.S. "respects the personal freedoms of its people."
  • Meanwhile, a Gallup poll of 135 countries conducted in late 2019/early 2020 (before the pandemic) found virtually identical rates of approval for U.S. (median of 33%), Chinese (32%) and Russian (30%) global leadership.

Flashback: The Pew and Gallup polls both go back far enough to highlight another time when global views of the U.S. plummeted dramatically: in 2003, following the invasion of Iraq.

  • In several allied countries, views of U.S. leadership were equivalent to or lower then than they are today.
  • Those ratings remained relatively low throughout Bush's tenure and then shot upward amid global enthusiasm around the election of Barack Obama.

What to watch: Now another president is taking office promising to restore America's standing.

  • Biden is unlikely to be greeted with the immediate surge of pro-U.S. sentiment that surrounded President Obama.
  • For the time being, global attention is focused far more closely on the president who is leaving than the man who is about to replace him.

Go deeper

Jan 13, 2021 - Health

47% of Americans say vaccinations are moving too slowly

Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans aren’t thrilled with the vaccine rollout so far, according to new Harris Poll data shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: The Biden administration will take over right in the midst of one of the most complex and highest-stakes logistical efforts the country has ever seen — and getting it right will be both a political and public-health imperative.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.