Aug 18, 2020 - World

New Zealand PM: Trump "patently wrong" about NZ coronavirus cases

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a press conference held in the parliament building Beehive in Wellington, New Zealand, on Aug. 17
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a press conference at the parliament building the Beehive in the capital, Wellington on Monday. Photo: Guo Lei/Xinhua via Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday rejected President Trump's comments on New Zealand's growing number of coronavirus cases since COVID-19 was detected in the community for the first time in 102 days last week.

Driving the news: Trump said Monday when New Zealand "beat" the virus, "it was like front page, they beat it because they wanted to show me something." "The problem is big surge in New Zealand. It's terrible. We don't want that." But Ardern said there's "no comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases being seen in the United States."

What she's saying: "Obviously it's patently wrong," said the prime minister, who's usually more measured in her response to questions on Trump.

  • "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."

The big picture: New Zealand confirmed on Tuesday 13 new cases linked to the cluster in Auckland that led to the country's biggest city locking down last week. Officials are investigating the origins of one other infection they believe is linked to the cluster. The total number of active community cases is 69.

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