CNBC mocked for report on approval rating for China's COVID-19 response

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NBC Universal is facing pushback again for its coverage of China's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, CNBC published an article touting a poll indicating that China's government had received the highest approval rating from its own citizens for the way it handled the outbreak.

The article features results from the "Global Crisis Perceptions" index from Toluna and Blackbox Research. Released on Wednesday, the poll asked 12,500 people across 23 countries to rate their governments' response to the crisis.

The poll said that overall, Chinese citizens ranked their government's response at 86 out of 100. Vietnam received a rating of 77, followed by the United Arab Emirates (59), India (59), and Malaysia (58). By contrast, the residents of the U.S. and Germany rated their government's response as 41 out of 100, U.K. residents rated their government at 37 out of 100, the Italian government was rated 36 out of 100 and Japan's government brought up the rear with a rating of 16 out of 100

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Many on Twitter suggested it was irresponsible to report on that type of public sentiment in a country that suppresses free expression.

One user tweeted: "Oppressed subjects of a brutal authoritarian regime with gulags of death praise their government with high marks out of love and admiration and a desire to see their families not murdered."

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Others similarly mocked the outlet. "North Korea came in a close second," actor Allen Covert tweeted. Pollster Frank Luntz tweeted: "Same way Kim Jong-Un wins elections with 100% of the vote, right?"

China has become the focus of global criticism and the Beijing government has tried to fend off allegations that it botched its response to the virus.

“For many of these countries, this pandemic is unprecedented. Governments are still coming to terms with a crisis they did not expect, and public confidence suffered as a result," Blackbox CEO David Black told CNBC.

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“Meanwhile, a significant part of Asia has had their leadership shaped by past epidemics, such as SARS and MERS," Black added.

The report also featured a part of the poll results showing that 85 percent of Chinese people -- compared to 41 percent of Americans -- thought their economy would come back stronger from the crisis.

CNBC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

NBC News faced a wave of accusations that it was doing the Chinese government's bidding last month by tweeting that it had not reported any new coronavirus deaths while the U.S. saw more than 1,000 overnight.

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"NBC bought it. Hook, line and sinker. Well done China. Well done," former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted at the time. Conservative commentator Dan Bongino similarly said: "NBC goes all-in on communist propaganda."

In March, NBC encountered criticism for an article suggesting that China was emerging as a "global leader" during the pandemic. The article, titled "As U.S. struggles to stem coronavirus, China asserts itself as global leader," opened by highlighting Chinese aid to Italy.

"With Italy in dire need of medical equipment, an economic superpower stepped in to help. No, not the United States," the article read. "It was China."