New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern decided to place the entire country on lockdown after finding a single case believed to be (but not proven to be) caused by the delta variant. And she wants desperate Kiwis eager to avoid the two-month horrorshow of lockdowns currently plaguing Australia (which has failed to stop the spread of the virus) to know that the real culprit responsible for their current situation is: Australia.
Specifically, New South Wales, which according to Ardern didn't lock down "hard and fast" enough to stop the virus from leapfrogging to neighboring New Zealand, which hasn't seen a case of COVID in months.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
And anybody who questions whether New Zealand's decision to enter a "Level 4" lockdown over a single COVID case (although the number of new cases climbed to 10 on Wednesday) should remember that if New Zealand doesn't act decisively now, they will need to deal with endlessly frustrating extensions later.
Jacinda Ardern was today asked her response to those that question the need for such a quick and harsh lockdown…— Charles Croucher (@ccroucher9) August 18, 2021
Her answer: Australia
Here's more according to News.Au:
Ms Ardern did not hide the fact that she blames NSW’s “light and long” lockdown for the spread of covid across the Tasman.
"Our ability to narrow down that this is a case that is linked to New South Wales outbreak, gives us a lot of leads to chase down as quickly as we can,” she said.
Asked by a reporter “what is your message to people who questioned the need for an alert level four lockdown?"
"Australia," Ms Ardern replied bluntly. "We’ve seen the dire consequences of taking too long to act in other countries, not least our neighbours."
“We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance,” she said.
In response to Ardern's testy accusation, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian defended her decision-making in the press, claiming that Greater Sydney's lockdown was undertaken quickly enough, even as she counted a record 633 local cases.
Instead, she blamed “too many people” who have been breaking the rules for the rise in cases.
"We know the settings we have in place are some of the harshest that Australia has ever seen."
"Unfortunately it only takes a small number of people to do the wrong thing, to cause this amount of spread."
“We have the right settings in place. But unfortunately too many people continue to do the wrong thing,” she said.
New Zealand has made mask-use mandatory for people over 12, if they are visiting supermarkets, pharmacies or other locations open for essential services. Mask use is already mandatory on public transport.
The country's vaccine rollout will continue Wednesday following a brief pause. Presently, only 24% of the country's adult population is vaccinated. New Zealand's lockdown has already killed the country's chance to become the first G-10 nation to hike interest rates.
And ultimately Ardern's criticism of Australia shows that the proponents of the already discredited "ZeroCOVID" approach will increasingly look for people to blame when their lockdowns are unsuccessful at eliminating a virus that's become endemic to the human population.
Apparently, it seems like a better option than admitting the truth to a weary public.