She didn't just 'flatten the coronavirus curve' - she squashed it

The coronavirus pandemic may be the largest test of political leadership the world has ever witnessed. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ People feel that Ardern “doesn’t preach at them; she’s standing with them,” Helen Clark, New Zealand’s prime minister from 1999 to 2008, told me. (Ardern, a fellow member of the Labour Party, got her start in politics working for Clark during her premiership.) And this will make Jacinda.” She expected the lockdown to last for several weeks, Ardern said, and for cases to rise steeply even as New Zealanders began holing up in their homes. “She doesn’t peddle in misinformation; she doesn’t blame-shift; she tries to manage everyone’s expectations at the same time [as] she offers reassuring notes,” Van Jackson, an international- relations scholar at Victoria University of Wellington and a former Defense Department official during the Obama administration, wrote to me in an email. I think that’s more important than people realize and does trickle down into local attitudes.” Ardern’s style would be interesting—a world leader in comfy clothes just casually chatting with millions of people!—and nothing more, if it wasn’t for the fact that her approach has been paired with policies that have produced real, world-leading results. As a collection of relatively isolated islands at the bottom of the South Pacific, New Zealand was in a favorable position to snuff out the virus. “It is undoubtedly an advantage to be sitting down on the periphery [of the world], because you have a chance to seewhat’s circulating from abroad.” Related: Coronavirus crisis around the world (Photos) A volunteer from the NGO Proactiva Open Arms performs a rapid test on Covid-19 by giving a nose swab to a health worker of the Redos Geriatric Residence in Sant Pere de Ribes, Spain, on April 30, as the tests are part of a clinical trial carried out on health workers in nursing homes and residents coordinated by Can Ruti Hospital and in which the HIV Foundation and the NGOProactiva Open Arms are participating. Ardern is similar to Barack Obama in that she’s “polarizing at home [while] popular abroad,” Jackson said.