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Trump's Comments on Coronavirus 'Patently Wrong', New Zealand PM Says

FILE - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference at the Parliament in Wellington, Aug. 17, 2020.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Tuesday dismissed as “patently wrong” U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that her nation is experiencing a big surge in coronavirus cases, saying there was no comparison between the two countries.

Trump made the comments Monday during a campaign stop in Minnesota, saying the situation in New Zealand was “terrible” after many in the world held the nation up as an example of how to manage the pandemic.

But speaking to reporters in Wellington, Ardern said anyone who is paying attention to what’s going on in the world with the pandemic “will quite easily see that New Zealand's nine cases in a day does not compare to the United States' tens of thousands."

New Zealand last week discovered four new cases of COVID-19 in a single Auckland household. Before that, the nation had not seen a locally transmitted case in at least 102 days. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus. Thirteen new infections were reported Tuesday. Officials have reissued a lockdown for Auckland until Aug. 26.

The country currently has more than 1,640 confirmed infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the infections globally.

New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has reported 22 deaths, giving it a death rate of 0.44 per 100,000 people, one of the lowest in the world. The U.S. has a death rate of 5.21 per 100,000, one of the highest globally. With a population of about 330 million, the U.S. has reported more than 5.4 million infections and 170,000 deaths.