Jacinda Ardern shuts down TV host’s questions about New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shut down a television presenter on breakfast TV after he questioned her decision to not yet lift lockdown restrictions in New Zealand, despite their low number of new cases.
Ardern was being interviewed on New Zealand’s The AM Show earlier this week when the presenter, Duncan Garner, asked if the country would soon move to a level two lockdown – they are currently at level three.
“What’s the figure you’re looking for to move us to level two… all the international experts are saying that this is going to be the new normal for months and months and months. What are we waiting for?” he questioned the PM.
“I didn’t realise you were an epidemiologist,” Ardern quickly responded with a laugh. “Congratulations on your new qualification!”
The presenter cut in: “If you wanna get personal then that’s fine, but I’m just asking a question.”
Queen of snide remarks…
DG: “What is it you’re looking for to move us to Level 2…what are we waiting for?”
— Common Sense NZ (@commonsense_nz) May 3, 2020
Ardern went on to explain she is deeply concerned about the nation’s economy, whilst also concerned about the safety of citizens.
“Duncan, do you for a moment question the fact that I do not have concern about the employment of New Zealanders? It’s why we have the wage subsidy, it’s why we put in the small business loan scheme last week, it’s why we worked with the banks on the business guarantee scheme, it’s why we have put through $3 billion of tax changes to get cash flow into business,” she said.
“I am desperately concerned about people’s employment, I’m also desperately concerned about their lives. Our job is to make sure that we do the best thing for both and it just so happens our strategy is focused on both. The sooner we win the fight against the virus the sooner we get our economy back up and running but I do not want to make hasty decisions that lead to a yo-yoing between levels.