New Zealand Prime Minister offers congratulations to Biden, offers advice on handling pandemic

Coronavirus in the 2020 Elections
New Zealand Prime Minister offers congratulations to Biden, offers advice on handling pandemic

In this photo provided by New Zealand Prime Minister’s Office, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on phone at her office in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Ardern became the latest world leader to congratulate Biden on his election victory Monday and says she offered to share her nation’s expertise on dealing the coronavirus. (New Zealand Prime Minister’s Office via AP)

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has become the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory, saying she offered to share her nation’s expertise on dealing the coronavirus.

New Zealand’s response to the pandemic is largely seen as among the world’s most succesful. The country of 5 million people has only reported about 2,000 cases of the virus and has only seen five deaths.

Ardern was re-elected last month, largely on the back of her administration’s successful response.

Ardern said the tone of the 20-minute phone call Monday was warm and that Biden spoke very favorably about how New Zealand was handling the pandemic.

Ardern said the two also discussed trade issues and climate change, and talked about Biden’s Irish heritage and his fond memories of visiting New Zealand a few years ago. She said she invited him to come visit again.

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