Heather du Plessis-Allan: Who cares what the world thinks of our Covid response?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 5:11PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Who cares what the world thinks of our Covid response?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 5:11PM

New Zealand is not liking Laura Ingraham, are we? 

If you haven’t caught up, let me introduce you. Laura Ingraham is a Fox News presenter, who has overnight had a go at New Zealand’s Covid response. 

She’s made the point that the American Democrats have used New Zealand has the poster child for how to deal with Covid. 

“The American left and their media poodles have long held up New Zealand as the model for how to properly deal with a lot of things, including Covid, but anyone who loves freedom should take note because the Kiwis have a terrifying new response to rising Covid case numbers," Ingraham said.

"They're throwing people into quarantine camps."

Obviously, they’re not so much Covid camps as 4 and 5 star hotels.

She then also played a clip of Jacinda Ardern explaining that people cannot leave these facilities unless they take a test.

Ingraham was then joined by Victor Davis Hanson of The Hoover Institution to talk about the personal liberties that we have forfeited in our covid response 

"New Zealand is a nation of 5 million people. They've only lost, tragically, but they've only lost 25 people. That's an astounding low number to throw away personal freedom," he said. 

Kiwis are not taking well to this criticism possibly for a couple of reasons.

The first is the obvious inaccuracies. There are no camps, it is not a new response. It feels suspiciously like Ingraham is framing our response in a certain way to support her anti-Biden rhetoric. 

But I think also Kiwis are taking umbrage at simply having our response questioned, because we believe that this is the right way to do things, the pursuit of the elimination strategy. 

Kiwis overwhelming support this strategy. New Zealand just voted this strategy back in.  And no one, apart from a few thousand who turn up to Billy TK marches, seem to object even to the forfeiting of personal liberties in the pursuit of elimination.

But should we actually care so much about what the world thinks of what we’re doing? 

I think our obsession with being feted by the rest of the world distorts our decision making and can – as Des Gorman argues – led to a kind of best in show mentality where we think we don’t need to learn from other nations how to do things better.  Or worse still, may cause us to keep pursuing this strategy at all economic and human costs into the future. 

 Who cares if Laura Ingraham thinks we’re doing things wrong?  Who cares if The Guardian thinks we’re doing things right?  They don’t live in this country.  Let’s forget about making decisions for the world, and only make decisions for ourselves.