On the day New Zealand recorded just nine new cases of coronavirus, Donald Trump tried to claim the country was in the middle of a “big surge”.
At a campaign rally on Monday in Mankato, Minnesota, the POTUS said:
Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something.
[There’s a] big surge in New Zealand. You know, it’s terrible, we don’t want that, but this is an invisible enemy that should never have been let to come to Europe and the rest of the world by China.
By Tuesday, New Zealand had recorded 12 more active coronavirus cases – bringing the total number of active cases up to 90 and 1,293 since the pandemic first took hold of the world at the start of this year.
But those figures wouldn’t be classified as a “big surge” for many people’s standards.
Certainly not in comparison to the US, who recorded a total of 37,240 new cases on Monday alone.
So NZ PM Jacinda Ardern hit back at the POTUS in a press conference on Tuesday:
Anyone who is following will quite easily see that New Zealand's nine cases in a day does not compare to the United States' tens of thousands.
Obviously, it's patently wrong.
After 102 days without a community transmission of coronavirus across the country, a family of four in Auckland tested positive on 11 August. None had travelled recently.
As a result, Ardern immediately locked down the city for three days and then extended it for 12 more days to try to control the spread.
She’s also postponed the general election – due to be held in September – by four weeks to try to control the spread.