The two countries, led by ideological opposites, are converging on an extraordinary goal: eliminating the virus. Their nonpolitical approach is restoring trust in democracy.
Australian officials closed Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach on March 21.Credit...Matthew Abbott for The New York Times
SYDNEY, Australia — Thousands of miles from President Trump’s combative news briefings, a conservative leader in Australia and a progressive prime minister in New Zealand are steadily guiding their countries toward a rapid suppression of the coronavirus outbreak.
Both nations are now reporting just a handful of new infections each day, down from hundreds in March, and they are converging toward an extraordinary goal: completely eliminating the virus from their island nations.
Whether they get to zero or not, what Australia and New Zealand have already accomplished is a remarkable cause for hope. Scott Morrison of Australia, a conservative Christian, and Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s darling of the left, are both succeeding with throwback democracy — in which partisanship recedes, experts lead, and quiet coordination matters more than firing up the base. Read more >>