New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit back at President Trump’s comments that the country was seeing a “surge” in COVID-19 cases, calling it “patently wrong.”
“Obviously it’s patently wrong,” she said about the US leader’s statement, defending New Zealand’s record as one of the best in the world at tackling the virus.
It comes after National leader Judith Collins pressed the Labour leader in parliament, with Ardern admitting authorities had not yet established the source of the new outbreak, despite ruling out it being transported by freight from Australia.
US President Donald Trump said he doesn’t want to see a “big surge” of COVID-19 cases like “what’s going on in New Zealand” where nine new infections were recorded on Monday.
The United States recorded 41,893 new coronavirus cases and 654 new deaths on August 17 compared to the previous day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The US has also recorded more cases of coronavirus than the entire population of New Zealand since the pandemic began.
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Mr Trump made the remarks while speaking to a throng of supporters at a rally in Mankato, Minnesota.
He claimed his presidential election opponent Joe Biden “wants to lock all Americans in their basement for months on end”.
“By contrast my administration is following data-driven and science-based approaches that apply to common sense mitigation, aggressively sheltering those at greatest risk, our seniors, we have to shelter them, and deliver effective medical treatments to save thousands and thousands of lives,” he said.
“And when you look at the rest of the world, you know they were trying to say, ‘Oh, we weren’t doing that.’
“The places that they were using to hold up, they’re having a big surge, and I don’t want that, I don’t want that.
“But they were holding up names of countries and now they’re saying ‘whoops’.
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