Former Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has praised Taiwan’s approach to combating the spread of coronavirus and says the country’s exclusion from global health discussions has potentially cost lives.
In an article for Time, Rasmussen championed the work of Taiwan’s National Health Command Center (NHCC), which took 124 actions in the first five weeks of the outbreak, as well as the country’s use of technology to track individuals’ travel histories to see if they’d recently visited a high-risk area.
It’s common knowledge that Taiwan is not part of the World Health Organization as a result of political pressure from China. In fact, the WHO don’t even refer to Taiwan as Taiwan. Rasmussen touched on this issue in the article stating that Taiwan “has something to offer the global health community. Yet China muddied the waters of geopolitics and global health – and today we see the consequences.” (Read more: WHO Refers to Taiwan as “Taipei and environs” in Latest Coronavirus Report)
“It’s not too late to learn from Taiwan. “
He went on to say: “we cannot afford geopolitical ‘blackholes.’ We need Taiwan in the room, helping to shape the global policy with its highly educated, industrialized and high-tech expertise.” We, nor Rasmussen, are saying that Taiwan being part of early WHO discussions would’ve lessened the impact of the spread of coronavirus across the world, but we do believe that Taiwan could have helped and definitely still can. (Read more: A Snapshot of Daily Life in Taipei During the Coronavirus Outbreak)
“Until now, the world’s multilateral bodies have gone along with China’s pressure that Taiwan be excluded. But it has come at a cost to all of us, starting in this case, to China. Now it’s time that we tell China, there is a place for discussing geopolitics. The World Health Organization is not it.”
You can read the full article here.
(cover photo by Martin Sanchez.)