Trump sparked uproar in New Zealand when he told a crowd in Minnesota that the South Pacific country of 5 million people was in the grip of a "terrible" upsurge in COVID-19 cases, having earlier succeeded in eliminating the disease.
Thirteen new infections were confirmed in New Zealand on Tuesday, taking the country's total number of cases since the pandemic began to 1,293, with 22 deaths. This compares with the U.S. tally of more than 5.2 million cases and 170,000 deaths.
"You see what's going on in New Zealand?" Trump said.
"They beat it, they beat it, it was like front page they beat it ... because they wanted to show me something.
"The problem is ... big surge in New Zealand, you know it's terrible. We don't want that."
Ardern said there was no comparison between New Zealand's handful of new cases a day and the "tens of thousands" reported in the United States.