Ruminating on the stark contrasts between the U.S and New Zealand responses to Covid-19
Jacinda Ardern may well be the most effective leader in the world. If for no other reason than her quick and smart response to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021. In brief, she and her governmental aides took swift action to isolate the nation to prevent possible infected people from coming in, which is how pathogenic transmission always occurs.
Then, she shut down the nation. The shutdowns prompted civilians to take this pandemic seriously (unlike some other nations…), sending the clear and well-communicated message that Covid-19 is a deadly disease that must be taken care of immediately. Unlike the uneducated masses in the United States, people did not defy her orders and chose to party and go to the beach and bar.
I cannot recall if the article mentions it, but they also did door to door testing (another article I’ve read mentioned it, but I cannot remember where to find it at present), provided government financial aid to businesses and residents, and ensured that a vaccine would be ready and distributed in a timely fashion.
She did all the things a TRUE leader could do. Yes, they still suffered deaths, unfortunately. But it wasn’t the biological massacre the United States suffered! The United States, if the official records are to be believed (and there is reason to NOT believe the official records of deaths from Covid-19, due to confusion on identifying those who have died of Covid-19, governmental conspiracies to cover up their failings due to the humiliation of the reality of how the U.S handled Covid-19, imbeciles spreading lies about Covid-19 protocols, conspiracies from seedy websites making their way into the mainstream media and so much more awful idiocy), currently has more than 605,000 deaths at the time of this writing. And there could be more unaccounted-for deaths that we do not know of!
What’s amazing about all this is how the United States, till this very moment, is STILL not taking this pandemic seriously. I still see people going without masks, lying about vaccinations and treatments (because they do not know what they are talking about), not fully adhering to federal or state health official protocols, and, effectively, ignoring the pandemic entirely. The United States has, empirically, failed to curtail the spread of SARS-CoV-2. It has gotten many hundreds of thousands of Americans killed. Yet, we still want to trust government officials like Joe Biden and Jen Psaki when they say they have everything under control (rest assured, they do not). We still do not have any process in place to hold those accountable for miseducating the public about the pestilence taking over the U.S (like virtually all Trump officials and especially Trump himself). We are still rolling out vaccines at slow rates. And we are not doing enough to change our behavior to stop, not slow, the spread of this disease.
The U.S is not one to judge another nation’s handling of the pandemic, but U.S leaders and residents do this all the time. And it is embarrassing to witness. It is Freudian projection on a national scale!
To have Donald J. Trump himself cast doubt on New Zealand’s handling of the health crisis, the guy who admitted in an interview with Bob Woodward that he wanted to “play down” the pandemic to “not cause a panic” and “achieve herd immunity” (herd immunity is a myth by the way: no, you are not protected from a pathogen’s spread by merely being in an inoculated population), is very infuriating. He, himself, is the largest cause of the virus’s spread. He was the antithesis of Jacinda Ardern!
Where Ardern was diligent and hard-working, Trump was lazy and nonchalant. While Ardern planned, Trump slept and tweeted. When Ardern told the truth, Trump lied and obfuscated medical facts. Whereas Ardern took responsibility for those who perished, Trump blamed someone other than himself.
The United States needed a more compassionate, educated, and effective government when the pandemic hit stateside. We did not have that. And we are paying the price in thousands of lives.
For further reading, see The Regulatory Review’s article by Richard W. Parker: Lessons From New Zealand’s COVID-19 Success | The Regulatory Review (theregreview.org)