The New York TimesThe New York Times

How Covid's bitter divisions tarnished a liberal icon

By Damien Cave

19 Jan 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

As New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern used her compassionate leadership style to overcome numerous crises, the NYT writes. However, her pandemic policy proved divisive until the very end.

Jacinda Ardern explained her decision to step down as New Zealand’s prime minister Thursday with a plea for understanding and rare political directness — the same attributes that helped make her a global emblem of anti-Trump liberalism, then a target of the toxic divisions amplified by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ardern, 42, fought back tears as she announced at a news conference that she would resign in early February before New Zealand’s election in October.

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