Tags: Coronavirus | world health organization | who | taiwan | tedros adhanom ghebreyesus | pandemic

Taiwan at Odds With World Health Organization

taiwan president tsai ing-wen poses with members of the military
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (center) poses with members of the military. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

By Monday, 13 April 2020 11:46 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Last week, a growing number of House members began calling for the withholding of American tax dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the resignation of its controversial Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has been accused of being pro-China.

Now, Taiwan — long denied admission to the WHO and denounced by Ghebreyesus for an alleged racially motivated campaign against him — finds itself increasingly at odds with the United Nations-affiliated agency.

On April 10, the WHO denied having brushed off a Taiwanese warning on the transmission of coronavirus after its outbreak in China started in December.

On April 11, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a strongly worded statement that said there were "at least seven cases of atypical pneumonia in Wuhan, China." ("Atypical pneumonia" is a commonly used phrase for SARS, the disease transmitted by coronavirus)

Taiwan's CDC recalled how on Dec. 31, 2019, the Taiwanese government sent an email to the International Health Regulations (IHR) focal point of WHO. It informed IHR "of its understanding of the disease and also requesting further information from WHO."

The Taiwanese spoke from experience, as they experienced a SARS epidemic back in 2003.

"[I]n response to our inquiries, the WHO IHR focal point only responded with a short message stating that Taiwan's information had been forwarded to expert colleagues," read the statement from Taiwan's CDC.

The latest clash between Taiwan and the WHO came days after Ghebreyesus made news worldwide accusing the Taiwanese government of orchestrating personal and racist attacks on him.

Asked to explain the attacks, the Ethiopian microbiologist Ghebreyesus replied without details: "I can tell you, personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or Negro. I'm proud of being black, proud of being Negro. I don't care, to be honest ... even death threats. I don't give a damn."

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen used her Facebook page to invite the WHO chief "to visit Taiwan and experience for himself how committed the Taiwanese people are to engaging with and contributing to the world, even in the face of discrimination and isolation."

The Taiwanese foreign ministry weighed in, calling Ghebreyesus' charge of encouraging racist attacks on him "groundless" and pointing out that Taiwan itself has been "severely discriminated against" because of its exclusion from the WHO.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Long denied admission to the World Health Organization and denounced by its boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for an alleged racially motivated campaign against him, Taiwan is at odds with the UN-affiliated agency.
world health organization, who, taiwan, tedros adhanom ghebreyesus, pandemic
Monday, 13 April 2020 11:46 AM
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