Ardern interview – lockdown, eradication, data, duration, business on hold

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was interviewed by Hillary Barry for Seven Sharp yesterday.

 

On what the lockdown means – we must stay in our homes, it “really relies on all of us” because “because this is what’s going to determine…actually whether we get out of alert level four as quickly as possible”.

On David Clark’s bike ride, avoided with “I was just going to give you the charity of my silence”, and then a lecture on what we the ordinary people must do to comply with Ardern’s requests not to do exactly what Clark did. Poorly handled by Ardern.

Contain or eradicate the virus? “Every time a case comes up we all pile in, we stamp it out, we contact trace, we self-isolate. We keep going through that process for as long as we need to.”

On testing and data: “My goal is that we’re in a position where we have enough testing we feel real confident about the decisions across New Zealand

On allowing online business: “We need to stop people congregating or being in shared spaces as much as possible, and that includes people being in warehouses and facilities where they’re packing orders. And so it’s about both sides.” A one-sided no.

Extending the 4 week lockdown? “…my hope is as we get closer to that four weeks we’ll have a really good idea of what’s going to happen next, and it might be that some regions come out, might be that some regions need to stay in a little bit longer”

“All the data we’re sharing with you I’m getting as well, so you’ll see what’s happening with the numbers and what’s happening in our regions, how we’re looking in order to come out of Level 4. So we’ll keep sharing that and you’ll see us in real time starting to process that data, tell you what it’s looking like and what it will mean for us being in level 4.”

Note she says “All the data we’re sharing with you I’m getting as well”, not ‘all the data I’m getting I’m sharing with you’.

So we are left to guess by the number of cases per region, I suppose whether they stop increasing, on the likelihood our regions will have the restrictions relaxed or not after 4 weeks.

It seems like a well prepared interview, I would guess with questions provided in advance.

It doesn’t really tell us anything much we didn’t already know or could deduce.

 

 

Hillary Barry: This week we’ve been reporting that some people are still confused about what the lockdown means. Others are clearly ignoring the messages. What do you want to say to New Zealanders as we head into our second weekend?

Jacinda Ardern: Just how important it is that we all stay at home. And I just can’t make that clear or express it more firmly because this is what’s going to determine whether a) whether we are successful in breaking the train of transmission, b)  whether we save lives, and c) actually whether we get out of alert level four as quickly as possible. So it really relies on all of us.

Hillary Barry: I mean, your own Health Minister went out mountain biking, Your thoughts on that?

Jacinda Ardern: Oh I’ve shared my thoughts quite directly as you can imagine Hillary.

Hillary Barry: (hard to hear) to share with us what you said to him?

Jacinda Ardern: I was, as I said this morning, I was just going to give you the charity of my silence, but you can be assured I did not give him the charity of my silence.

What we need people to do is stay local and also stay away from risk. And that’s really important because ultimately we don’t want our emergency services or other people having to come to your rescue., and that’s why that’s so important right now.

But I do accept people will want to go for walks around their home, or around their street just to get a little fresh air.

We do need to make this as bearable as possible, but we also need to limit your contact and you risks.

Hillary Barry: It is a bit of a confusing time for people, and we’ve heard a lot in the early stages of this crisis about flattening the curve. Just to be clear, is New Zealand trying to contain this virus, or trying to eradicate it?

Jacinda Ardern: Yes so right now we’re in a period where we’re trying to get back control. You know at the early stages there we ran the risk of that number of cases really starting to grow quite rapidly, and that’s why we went through those stages or alert levels really quickly.

Now that we’re at alert level 4 what we’re trying to do is get that control back, manage the transmission, but essentially get rid of it.

Now that doesn’t mean that we’ll have a situation that because Covid will be with us for a number of months, where if we have  a case in the future that’s failure,  it just means as soon as that happens we again have to stamp it out.

Every time a case comes up we all pile in, we stamp it out, we contact trace, we self-isolate. We keep going through that process for as long as we need to.

That doesn’t mean being in alert level 4 for months and months, but it means getting control back, and getting into a position  where we can start working very hard on eradicating it every time it comes up.

Hillary Barry: Leading scientists say we need more testing and more data. What do you say to that, particularly about the data?

Jacinda Ardern: I agree with that. We need as much information as we can. It means we can make the best decisions we can about coming out of alert level 4 and doing it with confidence.

And so we had today the most tests that we’ve had in any one single day, roughly three and a half thousand tests, but we’re building up our capacity to have even more. My goal is that we’re in a position where we have enough testing we feel real confident about the decisions across New Zealand, but right now actually compared to others our testing is very good.

Hillary Barry: And are you happy with that data that you’re getting out of that?

Jacinda Ardern: Again, I want to keep growing  it. Today was a good day in terms of those numbers, but the longer we have that, then the better data we have, then the better decisions we make.

Hillary Barry: Now there’s growing concern about the impact on out economy of course. Business people appealing to be allowed to trade online. Now given that you can still get goods offshore, could you change the rules around that to help business out?

Jacinda Ardern: I utterly understand why people will be raising that issue, but the thing we need to think about is not just the person making the purchase, but the businesses that are having to  then come together in  order to process those orders. We need to stop people congregating or being in shared spaces as much as possible, and that includes people being in warehouses and facilities where they’re packing orders. And so it’s about both sides.

The best thing that we can do for our economy is try and make sure that the public health impacts of Covid are as small as possible, by helping or focusing on public health. That means that we can get ourselves in a position where we’re supporting our economy by not being in a prolonged lockdown.

So if you look at countries around the world who have probably put economy first, they’re now in these prolonged lockdowns, which is not only bad for our health because people die, but also in the long run bad for jobs.

Hillary Barry: Speaking of a prolonged lockdown, what are the chances, not that we’re this far into it,  that you will need to extend the lockdown?

Jacinda Ardern: Of course we were very open from the outset that four weeks was what we felt was needed to (?) the chains of transmission in order to make a really good judgement about what next for New Zealand.

At the moment it’s actually a bit too early to say because we haven’t gone through the full two week period yet, we haven’t seen the full benefits of the lockdown yet.

But my hope is as we get closer to that four weeks we’ll have a really good idea of what’s going to happen next, and it might be that some regions come out, might be that some regions need to stay in a little bit longer, but my goal is to have New Zealand in Level 4 for as little time as possible.

Hillary Barry: So are you saying that you will probably wait until that four week period is over before making a decision whether to extend it or not?

Jacinda Ardern: New Zealanders will really get a sense at the same time I do, because all the data we’re sharing with you I’m getting as well, so you’ll see what’s happening with the numbers and what’s happening in our regions, how we’re looking in order to come out of Level 4. So we’ll keep sharing that and you’ll see us in real time starting to process that data, tell you what it’s looking like and what it will mean for us being in level 4.

The interview finished with family stuff that isn’t important to the country.

Leave a comment

26 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  4th April 2020

    That was ‘a tale told by an idiot….signifying nothing.’

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Coming from you …complements indeed as nothing is ever good enough

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  4th April 2020

        Bollocks.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th April 2020

          Dont you get your kicks from watching Court TV …sitting in judgment on others fills your day on everything that can go wrong

          Reply
  2. Patricia

     /  4th April 2020

    She’s very good at doing that.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    Basically she just wishes she could be like China and issue orders with no accountability and no constraints on enforcing it. She has no other vision.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      But but ( Senator) Bridges is pounding the desk and asking ‘What did you know and when did you know it ? Some similar countries dont even have that

      The Nats are on record as supporting the full lock down

      You want it both ways .
      .Clarke was doing what suited him best and you want the same but you criticise him.

      The government is listening ‘too much’ to officials and the government isnt listening enough to officials at Crown Law ( only for Heath Act not for powers under State of Emergency- I think there will be pushback on that reporters misleading story)

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th April 2020

        I only criticised Clarke for his weak-kneed apology rather than pointing out his rule-makers are fuckwits as Shane Jones would have done.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  4th April 2020

          PS, when did I ever defend Bridges? Even when he was first appointed I couldn’t see why.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  4th April 2020

            Has the caucus made any light between them and Bridges …I dont think so.
            I said the nats for a reason.

            Even ACT is concern trolling
            ““If we lower the Alert Level too soon, it could be deadly from a public health perspective. But if we leave it too late, it will be economically deadly.”
            https://www.act.org.nz/does_finance_minister_have_enough_information_to_lift_lockdown

            Strange that you cant seem to come out and say Trump is a moron, even when he is , just because you have ‘battered wife syndrome – he doesnt really mean it’.
            No problems with calling out Bridges , is that because hes not very rich like Key and Trump are.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th April 2020

              Nope, it’s because I don’t rate any of his ideas.

      • Pink David

         /  4th April 2020

        “The Nats are on record as supporting the full lock down”

        To their eternal shame.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th April 2020

          Thats why English and Joyce have been rolled out to pump the tyres for the ‘anti lockdown’ brigade.
          That way Bridges remains statesman like till the lockdown finishes

          Reply
          • Joyce and English weren’t anti-lockdown. They were asling why there wasn’t a plan to transition out of the lockdown. Seems like something reasonable to be asking for, I’d like to see some sort of exit plan too other than ‘if you behave some of you will be let out sooner or later’.

            Reply
  4. baylys66

     /  4th April 2020

    Got to hand it to Ardern & her PR team, to choose Hillary Barry for her soft ‘ interview,’ knowing it would be a fawning piece , with no serious probing questions or answering criticisms of her Govt’s hard Level 4 Lockdown.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Tell me which questions werent critical ?
      Barry is no pushover, no complements only brickbats
      Hosking interviews of Key were like a eager puppy humping his leg, with questions including the answer.
      poor Hosk , its likely his radio contract is tied to adverting revenue on his show as well as the ‘native advertising’

      Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    Read this yesterday and reread it and it’s still good. Much of it applies directly to Ardern et al:
    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/01/were-following-a-one-size-fits-all-coronavirus-strategy-right-into-a-great-depression/

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  4th April 2020

      depression at worst,recession at best was inevitable…with or without C19.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Cant bring your self to mention Trumps ineptitude even though the story is ABOUT THE US

      The reality the US doesn’t have a one size fits all. Do your own research on that …even Texas doesn’t have a state wide response leaving it up to individual counties

      Reply
  6. david in aus

     /  4th April 2020

    I am just glad that I am in Australia under level 3 conditions. I had my takeaway from my favourite restaurant. I can go cycling and jogging. It looks like Australia is going the way of South Korea and not Italy; hopefully not requiring level 4 lockdown like NZ.

    I talked to friends in NZ, it sounds miserable. If NZ eliminates covid19, I may have been worth it. As a health professional, there will always be colleagues whose only perspective is health and do not want to see the societal picture. For them, their lives and those of their colleagues are paramount. But governmental decisions should be made with wider considerations, perhaps a utilitarian wartime mindset not deontological.

    If covid19 is not eliminated, I do not think another lockdown would be the way to go. The benefits are not worth the costs. They will need constant level 3.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Apparently officials in Tokyo suppressed the numbers of Covid tests to make the pending Olympics look good. Now thats off the table , the positive tests have shot up

      Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  4th April 2020

    “Now that doesn’t mean that we’ll have a situation that because Covid will be with us for a number of months, where if we have a case in the future that’s failure, it just means as soon as that happens we again have to stamp it out.

    Every time a case comes up we all pile in, we stamp it out, we contact trace, we self-isolate. We keep going through that process for as long as we need to.”

    If the plan is to stamp it out, can someone explain how NZ ever opens it’s borders again?

    Reply
    • The Government or MoH should be telling us the answer to that. What we’ve been told so far is far too vague, and it’s hard to see how what they seem to be angling at would work without a longterm lockdown.

      Reply
  8. David

     /  4th April 2020

    It would be handy if they quarantined all new arrivals for 14 days then gave us the numbers of imported cases then at least we could see if the lockdown was actually working. We get 49 new cases and 25 or 48 of those could have just arrived or 80% of the new cases are because a new arrival gave Mum and Dad a hug when they got home.
    Its very frustrating and the stenographers in the press briefing seem more concerned with irrelevancies like how much is an f…ing cauliflower and what are you going to do about it.

    Reply
  1. Summary of the David Clark bike ride | Your NZ

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