FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: One virus, a world full of responses

The COVID-19 pandemic shows how many countries, with different political systems, handle a very similar crisis -- and how the public reacts.
48:39 | 05/22/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: One virus, a world full of responses
Hello and welcome to defy authority politics pod cast I'm dealing route. The Covert nineteen pandemic has poured across the globe. Matter. A pending society in leading to about 330000. Deaths so far. It has also demonstrated how different countries with different political systems. Deal with a very similar challenge and how the public reacts so on Monday's episode we discuss the Wii is in which the corona virus response. Has settled into our existing partisan divide in the United States Republicans have urge dispute reopening while Democrats have urged caution. Concern about the spread of the virus and adherence to social distancing precautions are also according to the data partisan. Meanwhile the details of the response have largely been left to the states. But that's not necessarily how things are going. World why so to provide some context for our experience in the United States today we're gonna take a look at the politics of corona virus are raw. In particular in Europe and China in here it needed you that our political science professor at the University of Richmond. Don Chan she researchers are authoritarian politics and public opinion in China hi Don thanks for joining us and our. I Galen nice to be here. Also here in us is political Europe analyst Cornelius Hersh he's also the founder of the poll of polls web site. Which tracks public opinion across. You're Cornelius banks are being here. I hear don't think branding Iran. So let's begin waited. Europe which is perhaps a more direct comparison to the United States because of its multi party democracy. So Cornelius. Has the response to the corona virus pandemic. Broken down along partisan lines in Europe. No interestingly. Nothing much we've seen very vital and very high support by the public for older must have been taking. And all the testing and the sense of consensus across party lines that there is confinement measures to contained Iraq at a spread of two buyers are necessary. Am and what we've seen across Europe and across all and basically all member states. Is a significant boost for a partisan government and also put the leaders this rail Europe effective FactSet. You girls having it was obvious yes assistant and alls I city to listeners are. Come yet opposed to increasing -- approval ratings. Four heads of governments and also bouncing tenor election polls to check that political poll of polls. So can you. Give us a little more context for how low high approval ratings are in Europe former. Countries' leaders. Well these days there's a significant thing about them. And it enters and it doesn't matter really which scientist a political spectrum to governing party sort of leaders are for. Whether they also are numbers improve surrendered a social Democrats and sweetened or to Christian Democrats in Germany. Or also directing national conservative. Governing party in in Poland to also there. They're numbers and proof in in the polls. And his need for Tom. Oh causing it silly at specific content. As a hats and seeing them approval ratings tell approval ratings of how he's handled the crisis. Of over 70% purchasing and extraordinarily high for an Italian politician and is highly interesting. Similar high numbers in enjoys also angered American Germany. A more polarized Francis seeing no Warner proposed numbers for at a monument called adult that he experienced a significant bounce. And boosting their approval ratings. And I little bit different European countries implementing implemented varying degrees of lockdown at different times. What caused those differences did that depend on the party in power or did the run on something else. Not really so eventually almost all EU member countries ended up with more or less seemed very strict confinement and ushers them nonessential movement was banned schools closed. Nonessential shops closed. And during face mosques is mandatory on public transport and angles and shops across and lots of countries. But timing as he said to them debt defect but differed significantly at the end of February met early march and I'm deeply defense for suspended across Europe but then the next both steps and to try to contain the spread to buyers. And they were teaching and Wendy were taking that's very truthful and it also pedals affected how to try some schools looking different in different countries. And because one reason for why Germany got through this crisis will be just his first race we thought the pandemic so well. Of course in addition to the health care system and appear that they could contesting capacities already Ernie on. This just affect that he has two true for weeks more time before they're buyers hit with full force compared to for example Italy France. Aaron and go to those are two important weeks and day greedy used his time and change he's testing capacity. And other countries such as Austria hour that the Czech Republic day yet that there aren't the same time around pipes. Relatively compared to how much to writers had her respect Dave Byrd read the early adopters often strict confinement pressures. And we Keeley senior debt to earlier and the stricter dementia as ever and spent the better actors countries got through his first weeks after current vice pandemic. With no we're just hope and those countries like Czech Republic she handles almost chair and relatives who are around that of growth of the first ones to be able to open up to economy gradually. Districts or didn't really fall in two it's similar laughter right polarized spectrum that it has in the United States. Don I'm curious China of course don't have any formal opposition but that doesn't mean there isn't any dissent. So right what if any divides have emerged over the corona virus response in China. So at the beginning of the outbreak. Com they're wore her sharp criticism comes even you know dean. About the initial cover and incompetence. The local party secretaries keen. In behind and who may sell at the very beginning of the outbreak a week do you see the very visible public outcry and anger. Which is not common in China. However. As the central leadership to control of the pandemic. And implemented it really you know draconian and strict measures and they were able to. Get the situation under control all. In enough fairly short amount of time. So. You know fast forward to you know march and April we use the public opinion. Sort of com Colin less. And we use in many people feel satisfied that point even proud that the Chinese Government the central leadership and was able to weather this challenge. So I see some commonality. With the European public opinion here. Sort of the high a support for the central leadership. Now in China the contacts is a little bit different too because. In Chinese puppy you know researched. One and fairly well is how this finding is pats. The political tribes in the central government is higher. Than backs in the local governments. And that seems to be opposite to the situation in many democracy east. So you have this pattern of sort of central good luck hope fat and. Yeah definitely the opposite of what we've seen in the United States during invests pandemic which is sky high approval ratings from local governor. And then you know disapproval of the federal government's response overall majority. Disparate. Absolutely because as Americans tend to just trust this federal garment as far away passing DC and they trust their local governments that's more clothes. To them. Seng China it's the opposite sent back contacts. Turn not took the a favorable condition. For the central leadership to manipulate the narrative at the picking up the outbreak. So they basically. Blamed. Local party secretaries the local leaders. Four for the initial cover up and and then after that the central leadership sort of stepped in. And you know in claimants and all the measures and was able to get the situation under control. So I seen the similarity with regards to the high support for the national leadership. In China asthma. Oh I and I saw a lot of questions in at least the American press currently on saying that. This could be sheets and things aren't doing this current foment a kind of dissent in China hasn't. Been seen in a long time. How that happened at all and if not by. Yeah I think it ain't answering this question. Being in late may twenty twining. I think the answer is is it's obvious that it's you know she's inking him south. Has successfully weather this challenge at least domestically. Although and a very beginning lead to observe. Some sort of wobbling in terms of the response from the central leadership so back in January. Oh. In late January. She me himself actually disappeared. From. You know that the headlines scene in news broadcasts and the from pages of newspapers. For a couple of pennies. And that's when it unity outbreak just started and things were really act. He actually appoints hit the number two leader in China the Chinese premier. Tip the to be the face. Two to be the central leadership's response. To fight the pandemic. However in early February. She hadn't sort of reemerged. Into the center stage. Possibly because their word on clear signs that things where started to be put on her control August she felt. Confident enough to to re emerge and become a public face. The central leadership again. So he reemerged he visited. Several neighborhoods and medical centers in Beijing. Wearing a face mask. And om and in one senate. This choreographed. Visit performance he submitted his wrists to a nurse to have his temperature taken. I think those kind of performance. Really showed that he. Is vulnerable to the virus like everybody else is and he also has to go through it that the testing the screening if he wants to visit someplace just like everybody else is. So I think it was a very. Careful. Teen crafting this image of a populist. Leader that has the solidarity with the common people. So from there. His leadership I think. Send the message from the central leadership has become more consistent. So the narratives from the saint media. Mainly focused on how the central government has invested. In all the resources. On you know really take this seriously. And you know do odd that it can to fight the pandemic. Com. And towards late march and early April when. China now the situation under control and when countries in Europe and the United States started to see the outbreak. You know that come from cases rising. That's when the state media started to question narrative that China is is a leader is like success. That it can land its own experience to other countries. Com. Was there ever on acknowledgement. Follows. Fumbling at the beginning late did anybody yet. Fired hot because there was this out that clearly. Beaded across mainland China in the sense that doctor Lee when Lee Yang for example violence. Censored and so on and ultimately died and touted the Chinese Government deal wit what seem to be clear. Nist apps at the beginning and meeting more than best apps kind of covering up the situation denying the facts and not being transparent. Re so. They eat the central leadership were able to. Basically use scapegoats. Local party secretaries in Ohio and who blame warm or removed from their positions. And you know we're new part secretaries appointed to two who pay and or hind. So I punishing. These local leaders. I think that's the response that the central leadership gift to the public. Com with a recurrence doctor Lee when down. Unfortunately Hewitt's there was a sensor at the beginning. After he died. The local public security bureau give out. A public statement. Basically trying to ring state. After the U announce the status. Com that wasn't satisfactory. To many people in China so I think there's still some level of public anger. Especially with a recurrence doctor Evelyn now. Interest earning kind of public opinion in shaping and responses in all of these parts of the world have also been hit. Pretty hard. Cornelius. There wasn't a partisan response was there at all a kind of regional or socio economic. Divide in terms of how Europe has handled the crisis or how the public responded. To its handling of the crisis. Well a more recent development Rosa does protests that are happening are causing in Europe against the Kuwait nineteen policies and and it's quite instinct who. Is taking into discrete and anger against and there's knocked on missions to the streets. And because and in them in recent weeks we've seen on he looked around protests primarily in Germany the UK in an Ulster capitals in Poland Italy and and friends. And the biggest protest they took place than being in prison regions of Germany with a few thousand participants in several cities. And deuce protests are confuse alliance off a few moderate concern reports. Pro business liberals let's call them. I'm some anti vaccine activists and and then left wing protesters protesters and that a tunic street's increasing extent also far right extremists. And more recently received at the far right party cells are pushing and there is purpose position yet against the locked on pressures. And us folks trying at same time to refocus the debate Stewart's their home patriot home base of topics which is obviously done the immigration topic. And industry interestingly there was protests are strongly induce countries. It has been more successful in containing to buyers and has been that's seem to know we're cases and death numbers. And because this of course helps causes and there's troops. To played a narrative that the need dental needs are overreacting to buyers of its not that bad to current numbers are artists even just a hoax. It's not rep or senator. You'll. More support for those parties you know for example far right parties are parties. No I'm attention to Florida searching approval ratings for leadership's governments and governing party's most universal so regardless of prayer and opened it expecting great favor or are. But we've seen in approval ratings angles being general election polls that you party Duke's losing support overall and there was bird a far right parties. Who lost and never to trust called EU member states even to them. Human being cute those who are in government. And and that's driven many but affected their main topics where gay trust that. And are not on the front pages anymore migration is not as much as a concern to Norman and might have to endemic threat. But the other group interest in me as a not only to far right parties have just lost support them on average. But also the green party's has lost an average trustee US also the climate issue. Since he less of a concern right now. But justices like it's just he'd change again giving to extremely dry spring we have here in Europe and making bad harvests and prost an unpleasant reminder actually off. Hope that the climate crisis didn't stop because of the current numbers but dares you groups. Are there once at least he. Two loss to the support in the polls when interest in the percent to parties we switch our internal. On a long term decline in Europe says a social Democrats and to center Christian democratic. Parties Hess has seen some. Something trees and support again. Acoustic. But. But but now we also see debt that the first signs to tell us to leave us our leaders are coming under increasing scrutiny. In the response in general in United States embrace. Public health experts has been hot and cold on the federal level. Sometimes being more race than other sometimes being signed altogether. What role have public health experts read EU the European and Chinese response as high as their band a wholesale acceptance. Yet Justin Denney was greeted smelter do you our -- experts and scientists if you all had soft governments percent of themselves. On TV screens together we've leading scientists and doctors. And have also listen to dad bias and that's some of this biologists and have it actually developed almost some kind of stardom. Now with their own daily pod cast and behind trust from from people so. This testing distance in quite fascinating to see you know. If everyone who now has his favorite his or her favorite. Our relatives that they listen to you and stay and be seen and there was has been hurt not only planes. I hope it'll look governments organ of the ships but also played by many people across Europe. Very similar that the trust and respect for scientists. Is is. You know its predominant among the public and you you rarely see. Skepticism. Scientists in China. Although when it when you have this new virus when the science is still catching up with the trying to understand. You know what this is and how you know at about vaccines and treatments. There may be some set of unconfirmed. Grapevine information about potential cures that are not. Scientifically supported. You may seen that kind of information circulating. But with regards to unite you trusts. In the information coming from the scientists. I think that there's a barren little skepticism. Yet that makes you curious we talked about conspiracy theories on this podcast last week and 30% of Americans it turned out. Believe that there is some kind of conspiracy theories surrounding the origin or severity of the virus what role have conspiracy theories plead and public opinion. There's certainly. Some room how for conspiracy theories to grow. And the Chinese Government also passed. You know interest in promoting some on the conspiracy theories to deflect international criticism. Of China. So you know some even some diplomats from the ministry of foreign foreign affairs they publicly pro mode. As these theories through your personal Twitter accounts or in their you know briefings. So soap soap and these theories are circulating. But I think. Overall the consent. Is that you know we still don't know the true our action of this virus. Cornelius mention that there are some regional or maybe evens as the economic. Divisions amongst a minority. Europeans. You know even now that you described are being a general consensus. How the central government's response. Are there any breakdowns across like her manner Lawler associate economic. Wines in China. Yet. S. Based on the reporting. From New York Times for example. We do see acts. Did you know people with tends to be more vocal wing fear criticism. Our panel Erdman. Educated. Professionals who may have access to. Information from foreign media outlets. And these people tend to be marble coal in your criticism of the government. And also these people tend to come from areas. That are hit hard by the virus. Also there may be some geographical variation within regards to public opinion people from Wuhan campaign may have eaten. More critical do you want the government and people from other provinces which. You know where the situation may not be as serious as cool way. You may also see that divide between education B can rule and pertinent so basically people who have more access to. Information. In a few who know more about what's happened. May be more critical. For people who are less educated who are in rural areas. Oh. You know for the down in and they may be more concerned when it. How to get over this crises right and resume their normal life. You know they may be warned about their livelihood. For example. So there art both the regional and socioeconomic divide with regards people's opinions. Via now that were in kind of a new stage. This crisis and we're talking about our. You know opening up some of these lock downs contact tracing did you believe. You know mask wearing and socially distancing and public going forward. These have become. Somewhat flashpoints as well in the United States. And I'm curious whether or not your personal political flashpoints really cares whether or not that has been the case in either China or are. NATO sort China. So the mayor has spent very little resistance against. Com in a contact tracing using technology. In Europe basically given up a lot of your unit your privacy. Any in exchange for. Security right and the for the pen and make happened. There was actually some debate some discussion up out digital surveillance in China and people seems to be more concerned with their privacy me. In and they were more careful when using their cell phones for example. When a pandemic hits com. You know. In my head on this a widespread public fear. About how serious the situation can get. I think most people what compliance. When they have to senator you know personal information where they went in in their time picture things like that so. I don't yet see. Whites like a resistance against these government managers. In the name. You know controlling a pandemic. And a deadly Cedar Falls in Europe. At to peak of the crisis people and I am also in service clearly sets that. Decked their health goes over to air privates privacy of their privacy rights. And when also when it came to reduce them to it is apps. Parents and contact tracing apps and so on. And case all seeing in England Europe we have to just. Tradition off off of willingness to you a day teach you to whose two recommendations by by the government. And news and now who and when it comes to you how to open up its thing actually quite quite interesting also. Am. That's do you can commission for summer reading want to achieve be a departure from the current ours looked on mattress. Potatoes are more synchronized than at the beginning Renault could countries just took meshes as steps and assessing their own hands. And Pam. And detect cancer but to once again now we're also waiting concert exit safety's capitals across your path freely taking us days matters into their own hands again. So yeah I think I think that hosting and quite similar actually. Given. Talking a lot about public opinion and here in kind of a similar rate that we were talk about public opinion Ian. The United States and our listeners know. Out of how we come to our conclusions about what public opinion is. Years in the United States based on a whole bunch of different firms that do polling. In different states and nationally. And so to maybe get a little more want to hear for a minute. I'm curious about how public opinion is deeds in. You know Europe for example also maybe especially China. Com is public opinion polling generally oh how can anybody duet partner Heidi you come to conclusions about what public sentiment is there. In China it. That kind of frequent reliable poll lane. On very specific issues for example. And it it as an existing China and Vietnam are strict government. So regulations as to who can conducts surveys in China. Typically you need to have a local partners. Typically local universities. To actually and administer a survey. That being said it we do have access to to some Dade. Some reliant poll nationally representative data to understand public opinion in China. So so they are. Multi country projects such as toward the body of surveying. Asian barometer surnames of these projects include China. Beyond that there are also sort of one times our way so for example 2008 China Saturday. On conducted by Texas Ian and was an example O. And a rending university in China. Also conducts. Chinese general social survey regularly and I think their most recent release. Was the survey done in tiny fifteen. Palms he can get access to those they as well now. Oh you know that the downside of bees in large nationally representative survey is that sometimes the questions that you want to ask are not including us are way. So some scholars also to the our own sort of smaller scale survey for their specific recent projects. And they may focus on just one or two cities or provinces. Any more recent years. We also start to see it many scholars use online survey experiments. Found to try to understand public opinion in China. So so yes we don't have that kind of you know the abundance of polling data in China but we do have some accents. To malign me. And what our response rates alike are people hesitant to talk about potentially dissenting. Views. On lake do you trust the the data that you get out of these polls. For disarming and mention yes I do. I say you know that scholars who Wear. In charge of the survey in that they used in a very rigorous senate sent a sampling method it's. With regards to response rates. I can speak about that based on line of my own recent projects that I did with my co author Andrew McDonald. So we did this lab in the field survey experiment he she ion. And Kwan chow and we were fortunate that you know we've. Local partners and we were able to hire student assistance to help us feel the Saturday. The response rate with around 30%. So what we did was we went to we went to public places like shopping malls. Public parks squares. In where people attend to concentrate. And most people they would say now hand most people are not comparable talking to strangers. Ballots. You know and their views of the government. By. But nonetheless were able to carry on the Sar name. And the response rate was about 30%. And mom. And I do think that they'd or reliable. In the sense that people do. Saying what they think of the government and if they don't feel comfortable sharing their views. You know they have the option of choosing you don't know or declined cancer. That's the situation. What I did in Europe. And we sometimes not. British polling is being enough particularly reliable but. More broadly is European polling reliable. Yet when asked when we talk about UK. You know we did last year there European Parliament elections. And I'm quite happy that sort of next European car collection we don't hefty. You say you Kate Coles anymore because there were indeed vs on the issues in the past but overall I'd definitely say that polls are as a reliable in Europe STR in the US. And also learn not just the names of polls is that you know yes all that French kissing and several EU countries for example it can't tar keeps us. He folk you goth. They have Princeton several. EU countries. And after each national election. We yet to Politico always estimate also supporting air for each pollster and to and to each poll ahead if the election. And on average our poll of polls means that he misses each party by Everett saint less than 2%. I'm sued a sexually battered and historical average but. Of course jobs some. Issues with. Tourist Ethan crystal courtesy media landscape and also with with the transparency transparency. Around poles in some countries. I'm. For example we we sometimes have to crescent independence of some pulses in in Britain Hungary which has close ties to you. Media outlets that at it again has close ties Tuesday ruling party. Not stand it definitely overall and active polls in Europe can be compared to two. ATR conduct. Is it fairness you Austrian solar. The Atlanta and I would say I'm not as good as in poker peninsula that's that's so I'm not sure if that's the secretaries and. And can I add something Maurer. About sort of the reliability of the data so so there is there actually some studies. Being dean in the field of Chinese public opinion about whether we can trust land key posts saying that they be supported government or they're satisfied with the government because they are living under authoritarian. In a society and their baby's social does our ability issues. I don't thing there's a consensus yet as to how much we can trust those they'd some studies. Do show that. You know the high trust that Chinese who have seen the government is probably solid. Does probably their true opinion. There are also some studies that cast doubt on how much we can make of those eight because week you have. A fairly large percentage of don't knows. And how do we interpret those who answered don't now do they really support the government are doing not. It's hard to now so so I think there. There may be some areas of skepticism as to how much we can make of that they. But overall I think it's safe to say that that general patterns of in of the high trust in the central government is his problem it's all. What kinds of numbers do you get when you poll the public in China a Bauer. Trust in central government vs local government. So. Unit depending on the survey depending on the year the numbers may may change a little bit but in general trusting the central government. What a colony somewhere between eighty to 90%. Com and the trust in their local government would be somewhere between sixty to seventy per cent. So the still fairly high number but theory they aren't unit is consistent GAAP. Be contrasted the central and local levels. It'll when it comes to public opinion one. Think that's going on in the United States right now is that across party lines Republican democratic. There is. Increasing distrust. China and it's likely going to be something that plays out in this point when he general election. Has there been something similar going on dean Europe. And kind of given Europe it is navy a third party in between some of us bats going on between China and the United States right now. What is public opinion polling like when you compare use of the United States and China right now in error. That's that's incredible interest in Christian. Because actually here in Europe the distrust crown against the United States has has increased and recently even more. They're stairs being one very recent poll by NATO air cover foundation. And fifth thus cutting conduct it in early April. Am and a leading in Germany. But there are 73%. Half of respondents said that step and then a test morsels if you after yes. And the same time am. To Serbia Serbia as the suit determines are now almost equally divided. On whether Washington or Beijing town is more important partner for Germany which is quite a dramatic shift and also given to history off of Germany. And an alliance between Europe NATO Germany into yes. And Diaz is that this is going to read you were possessed significant or insignificant shift compared to just seem so we did it was starting in September. When chairman and chairman Steelcase. The United States extra years favoring. Partner seeker in this and his poll who at Witter Washington or Beijing. Is the more important partner. I'm but this does not mean to chairman's getting China kind of a free pass just quit I still a lot of skepticism about how the how and the Chinese central government tried to cover up for. The beginning of delft outbreaks ending in Wuhan. And it's another caveat around this to surveys all the debts and the United States. Average people living in Europe also Holton United States to a higher standard and our. And just more easily I would say it is poignant when when Washington fails then Wendy king and fails them. And moreover. Also Germans have been. Mary critical about the current US government before. Europe overall. Am Derrius kind of that is surveyed fits into a pattern I and into into development that we see. But there's a general desire up Europeans for a more autonomy and serenity. And because those are there surveys find that spank your please increase since you want to be more independent. And a global stage and don't want to necessarily have to excites. In fact international disputes citizens does is being interesting. And also Aaron regarding that view of China China has revamped top to propaganda war and odor odor last month being in Europe as well we've seen. And he's been accused of misinformation I am. Strategies and social media. And but also quite openly it to Beijing as spinning teaching in the not so subtle PR campaigns have to say. And to read with a straight cheat sheet to distract from detective today edited buyers started in China and tells us to comment and a beginning try to curry talked for weeks. And now we beef beef. It was artery in March. China has sent singing notes off of mosques medical equipment teams of doctors and ending in bank leaders. Two European countries are part Burke hit the hardest. And to remake ops. Four Republican has happened in the beginning also can also Q percent themselves that the girl speech as a success as an alliance are assessed and and I. And sorrow China sends yet as the planes which was which mosques and and and medical here. I'm very early on render you seem to an artist S and EU commission seemed quite unprepared and caught on the wrong foot with his contentment. So we've done and it's just as and just. Plane loads of medical equipment and help from China doesn't he also had an impact on on China has been seen. Comparisons to US practices dramatic shift if we are seeing overall leader of when he comes to. And international alliances. Tuesday I think it's fair to say at the moment. Given the monster of America first and just general rhetoric coming out the federal government State Department. That the United States number one priority is not kind of how it's viewed on. Or use traditional alliances give it and you know some skepticism about NATO even that was emphasized a lot of frustration. Yes and this and this shows in and this shows incurred and approval numbers off of and to trust numbers. By Europeans in the US government as our. Yet Don it seems like the Chinese central government has been able to get domestic public opinion on its side. But now the question is whether it can get international opinion audit side. What's your cheek on the government's ability to do. Yeah I I agreed that domestically. The the worst has passed in terms of the central leadership's. You know image and how the people react to the government's handling. This outbreak. However her the next challenge is how to recover the economy. In the livelihood is a key issue in Chinese politics. And you know for example now is a graduating season and we have a large number of college graduates. And whether they can find employment after graduation would be. Would be a political challenge for for the car so sad I think. Even though the public health crises is put under control. The next step is to Britain. Is to make sure that the economy. Is recovering. At a fast pace. Internationally. I think and public penny environment is some less optimistic and I think the central leadership is is keenly aware of acts. So that's why you know you've ceased she campaigned this week for example. Attending parent teacher conference and pledging to million dollars to took it to this organization. And trying to take them Beloit international leadership that the company administration has seeded so. So I think all of these fairly aggressive. Diplomacy. Including sending medical equipment's. Doctors to other countries. I think all of this once to make sure that in actually harm. Is. Sort of is not too hostile. To what's China but. Whether that success for not acting and remains to be seen. What about some of the political challenges facing Europe going forward it's been a boon as you mentioned to. Sitting governments across the content nine. By you know. Now we're opening up and a struggling economy. And also seemingly a lot of criticism of how the European Union. Federal government responded to the crisis. Why is that speak now going forward. Yeah definitely a suit there's really high he approval rating is under meetings we see some first signs of stared at air at decreasing again. This will definitely you know I think is a pattern we see across to grow better China US or Europe has moved largely depend on the economic development in the coming months. As Europe enters and wants to force economic crisis and an appearance heat unemployment because of writing. And then also dispersed take it I gave that far right parties are at the moment using musing and in the polls. That might be every versed right than win when their economic he crisis really hits. About. He interesting news is also abandon. The economic response that's mentioned already didn't we have to is different country tracks kind enough and debt. That's shredder along geographic lines and not so much they're unknown our party nine's what what economic response. And our policies to list two different governments favor. But we seeing a really huge development actually do speak in and in Europe where is that German your government of Germany. Which was traditionally count is due to frugal country so redder. Pro us Terry T lectures and tend to yet a very fair very frugal economic our response. Ditch and government this week backed for the first time European common European barring. Which some observers call almost like hammer looking. Moment for the European Union if dis French German proposals as the country's proposed this to sound. Common boring to getter Christie's proposal is successful. Because that would be you be a huge step before the first time to European Union put them. Would issue bonds to getter and was do you common boring. And at what do you huge integration step actually say really interest and also economic developments here in in into European Union I know that. You know I've seen reports. I'm. You'd think. Me it is a difficult question to answer but. As democracy in Europe. Writ large. Come more attractive were less attractive as a result. This pandemic and I'll say today in the United States. You know interestingly enough particularly among young people democracy we've seen that's grown less popular. Which for a lot of Americans in super surprising given that we consider ourselves Parra leave the oldest democracy. Not in the world. Howell hands this incredible challenge. Sheep's Europeans perspective and the reality of democracy. I think this can't be content right now already rendered is pandemic has really had a lasting effect on and on how democracy is you'd. Back to your right to be seen. In several comments are taking don't change here you seizing this. His moment to crack down. On and yet even more for example the freedom house report. Now does not even consider Hungary a full democracy anymore for the first time and today Hungary is a full member of two European Union. Meets sees itself as a democratic. President of the union of democratic states that is is a huge challenge but there was something that is not news about Ritter is this crisis has span. Has increased artist to speed justice development. Interestingly. We receive debt to trusting institutions has been testing increasing. Why NATO all things some countries especially in its lead. And to trust regarding your skepticism does has been has also been under rice. Especially because to your opinion in the beating and fatal to teach you react swiftly into each year assist the countries hit the hardest. But I think that after a final birdie tear definitely still outs and we have to contradicting development of are found increasing trusting in institutions overall what I wrote Adam. Whether it's the same time also in choosing your skepticism and a crackdown on our democratic institutions in some countries. Yet turning to China of course it's an authoritarian countries so it's maybe not a question of why did you can still ask the same question. Because there is dissent and they obviously domestically how to use of democracy rather it happen or not. What pat is how does democracy block vs authoritarianism. In China to act. So. For if you look at United States and how the federal government has responded to the pandemic. That will be cast this democratic country in a very negative light. And if you compare that with the Chinese government's response. That forms a huge contrast. You know not only government leadership. But also the effectiveness the outcome. Of controlling the pandemic. And in in Chinese state media and now in it because of trump and administration's criticism. Of China. A lot of the rhetoric it was also. About refuting. You know America and pointing out the weaknesses in the American political system especially when it comes to. The fight against the pandemic. Without being said countries like Taiwan and South Korea. Carter also democracies. And they have done a pretty good chops so far in terms of controlling the pandemic. But unfortunately that's not that focus of the news reporting. In China right now. And so. So all of these factors considered. I think if you live in in the media environment in China you probably half. A fairly negative EU on the effectiveness of democratic governments. In moments like this. I guess we'll see how things ago. Moving forward as you mentioned Cornelius. Oh. You know. Answers still inconclusive. John in Europe. Anyway I think that's all we have time for today and really enlightening to hear about it is these different experiences. Ron given that you know in a matter of months all of these different countries all of these different political systems. Had to deal when there are. So thank you so much for majority meet today on and Korea. Thank you for having me. And your Gayle thing to Don I was reading and talking to you think you. Don John is a political science professor at the University of Richmond and researches authority and politics and public opinion in China. And Cornelius first is a Politico Europe analyst and founder of the whole whole web site which tracks public opinion across Europe. Is due entry each now is in the virtual control room you can get it. That's right emailing us at pod cast I pretty calm you know of course greeted us with questions or comments. If you're a fan of the show leave us a reading or review in the Apple Store were tell someone about us. Thanks for listening and was. Oh.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"48:39","description":"The COVID-19 pandemic shows how many countries, with different political systems, handle a very similar crisis -- and how the public reacts.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/fivethirtyeight","id":"70831659","title":"FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: One virus, a world full of responses","url":"/fivethirtyeight/video/fivethirtyeight-politics-podcast-virus-world-full-responses-70831659"}