The Daily Beast

Finally, Under Biden, America Is Catching Up to New Zealand

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

Why can’t America be more like New Zealand with its COVID mortality rate of roughly one person per 100,000 population versus our 120? There’s one reason they’re so far ahead of us: Everything Dr. Anthony Fauci told Donald Trump to do, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern actually did. She shut down completely on March 16, 2020, and reopened only after transmissions and deaths were down. By June, it was everyone into the pool. Restaurants, bars, and offices were open.

We are 10 months and more than half a million deaths beyond that. At his first press conference Thursday, President Joe Biden said he was elected to rescue us from COVID and to that end, he’s 48 days ahead of his promise of 100 million vaccines in a hundred days. He upped the ante to 200 million by then, likely to be met if he keeps to his current rolling average of 2.5 million doses a day.

Still with 1,541 deaths the day before he took reporter’s questions, Biden’s vaccinations, as fast as they come, won’t make up for the ground lost by the prior president who didn’t have the stomach to do what Ardern did: risk a political hit for shutting down until transmission was sufficiently slowed.

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