Donald Trump doubles down on NZ's 'big outbreak'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Aug 2020, 2:04PM
(Photo / Getty)

Donald Trump doubles down on NZ's 'big outbreak'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Aug 2020, 2:04PM

Donald Trump has doubled down on his claims that New Zealand is experiencing a large resurgence of Covid-19.

The US President, whose administration has been battling the highest recorded coronavirus case numbers in the world, made the comments during a White House media conference today.

"New Zealand, by the way, had a big outbreak, and other countries that were held up to try and make us look not as good as we should look, and we've done an incredible job.

"They're having a lot of outbreaks, but they'll be able to put them out, and we'll be able put them out."

It comes after Trump made similar claims earlier this week when addressing a crowd in Mankato, Minnesota.

"You see what's going on in New Zealand?" Trump said.

"They beat it they beat, it was like front page [news], they beat it because they wanted to show me something."

"The problem is [there is a] big surge in New Zealand, you know it's terrible - we don't want that.

"This is an invisible enemy, that should have never been let to come to this country, to Europe to the rest of the world by China, just remember it," he said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hit back at Trump on Tuesday, saying his claims were "patently wrong".

"Obviously 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," Ardern said.

"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."

Ardern said anyone who was following outbreaks around the world would "quite easily see" New Zealand's nine new cases yesterday didn't compare to the tens of thousands in the US.

On Monday, New Zealand reported nine new cases while the US had 42,000.

"Obviously it's patently wrong," she said when asked about Trump's comments.

"We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to Covid and our workers are focused on keeping it that way."

New Zealand now has 96 active cases of Covid-19 after a resurgence of infections in the community last week, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1649.

The US has recorded more than 5,520,000 Covid cases and more than 170,000 people have died from the virus.