New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Offers to Help Biden-Harris Administration with Coronavirus

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has offered to help President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as soon as they’re in office.

“I offered to him and his team access to New Zealand health officials in order to share their experience on things we’ve learnt on our Covid-19 journey,” Ardern said after she had her first joint meeting with both the president-elect and vice president-elect.

Ardern added that she emphasized “the importance of organizations like the World Trade Organisation to a country like New Zealand … [and] our eagerness to support work to unblock some of the issues we’ve experienced.” She said President-elect Biden “spoke positively about New Zealand’s response to the pandemic.”

Under Ardern’s leadership, New Zealand has eliminated Covid-19 twice. The country has recorded just 25 deaths and 2,030 cases since the pandemic began. By contrast, the United States has recorded more than 256,000 deaths and recently broke 12 million cases as the global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic.

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The news is a far cry from Ardern’s relationship with President Donald Trump and his administration, who have weathered harsh criticism for undermining the severity of the pandemic as well as the pandemic response.

Over the summer, Ardern responded to President Donald Trump’s claim that the country was struggling with the virus after containing an outbreak. (On the same day that New Zealand reported just nine new cases, the United States reported 40,612. Despite this, Trump suggested that New Zealand’s response to the virus had faltered.)

“We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to COVID,” Ardern said at the time. “Our workers are focused on keeping it that way.”
“Obviously it’s patently wrong,” Ardern said when journalists asked her about Trump’s comments. “I don’t think there’s any comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States. Obviously, every country is experiencing its own fight with COVID-19. It is a tricky virus, but not one where I would compare New Zealand’s current status to the United States.”