World Health Assembly Excludes Taiwan: Taipei Times

Taiwan demonstrated skill in tackling and controlling the spread of Covid-19 among its population of 23 million. Even so, the World Health Assembly, hesitant to antagonize China, excluded Taiwan from its virtual meeting. Taiwan sent a letter of protest to the World Health Organization Secretariat. “While the focus of this year’s WHA should be on the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s performance in fighting the coronavirus is worth sharing with other nations, so Taiwan’s exclusion from the meeting is a loss for the WHO, as well as harmful to Taiwan, as it cannot learn from WHO members’ experiences,” suggested Taiwan’s minister of health and welfare, as reported by Lee I-chia for Taipei Times. Taiwan also donated millions of masks and other equipment to more about 80 nations. More than 110 nations support an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the "international health response to COVID-19," reports Business Insider. President Donald Trump sent a letter to the World Health Organization threatening US withdrawal, referring to an early alert from Taiwan that went ignored. Politics should not take priority over public health in confronting the pandemic. – YaleGlobal

World Health Assembly Excludes Taiwan: Taipei Times

By excluding Taiwan from the World Health Assembly, global leaders relay that politics has priority over health expertise during Covid-19 pandemic
Lee I-chia
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

China Taiwan US : Population 1.3 billion	24 million      	 328 million  Total Confirmed Cases 84,063, 440, 1.5 million  Rate of Confirmed Cases per 100,000 6 , 2, 457  Deaths 4638,	7 , 90,373
Keeping score: Globalization is about pinpointing the best approaches, but too many leaders put politics over public health (Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering)

Read the article from Taipei Times about Taiwan’s efforts to join the World Health Assembly meeting.

Lee I-chia is a staff reporter for Taipei Times.

Also, read an article from Business Insider about support from 100-plus nations for an investigation into the international Covid-19 response.

Read about measures used by Taiwan to contain Covid-19.

Donald Trump sent a letter to the World Health Organization, summarizing findings of a US review of the agency’s Covid-19 response:

    - WHO consistently ignored credible threats of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019
    - By December 30, WHO office in Beijing knew there was a “major public health” concern in Wuhan
    - Taiwanese authorities alerted WHO in late December about human-to-human transmission of new virus
    - International Health Regulations require countries to report health emergency risks within 24 hours
    - China delayed reports on the sequencing of the virus genome and closed the lab of the doctor who posted the sequence online
    - On January 14, WHO reaffirmed a Chinese claim of no evidence of human-to-human transmission
    - WHO delayed declaration of a public health emergency or pandemic
    - WHO praised China for transparency
    - WHO did not insist on immediate entry of an international team of medical experts into China for an investigation
    - WHO praised China’s domestic travel restrictions, but criticized US restrictions for travelers from China
    - On March 3, WHO relied on Chinese data to suggest that the numbers of asymptomatic carriers were low and the virus did not transmit as efficiently as influenza
    - On April 11, several African ambassadors complained about discriminatory treatment of Africans in Chinese cities, without comment from WHO and Trump noted, “You have, however, baselessly labeled as racist Taiwan’s well-founded complaints about your mishandling of this pandemic”
    - WHO does not speak out about China’s delays in sharing data and viral samples or censorship

    Trump’s letter concludes: “My Administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization. But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste. That is why it is my duty, as President of the United States, to inform you that, if the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.”  

    The New York Times points out the letter “contained falsehoods and misleading statements” while overlooking his administration’s delayed response despite ample warnings.


Copyright © 1999-2020 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.