President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should personally lead the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic so that personnel and resources can be made available quickly to those in need, New Power Party (NPP) lawmakers said in a statement yesterday.
NPP legislators Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智), Claire Wang (王婉諭) and Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) issued the statement as the nation grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak caused by multiple cluster infections that occurred early last month.
Hospitals, particularly those in Taipei and New Taipei City, have said that their personnel and resources have been stretched thin due to a surge in the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
“The current chain of command can no longer bear the heavy responsibility of fighting the war against the pandemic. In other countries, it is the president or prime minister who fully takes charge on the front line of the battle,” they said.
“President Tsai should assume command so that all personnel and resources can be quickly directed to people in need,” they added.
In the past, the private sector was allowed to procure vaccines directly from international pharmaceutical companies and donate them to the government, and the government offered assistance during procurement to make sure that the vaccines are safe, the party said.
Such cooperation today would not only serve as the best example of public-private partnership, but would also ensure the quality of vaccines, as well as the health and safety of the public, it added.
“Since last year, the government’s endeavors in purchasing vaccines have been blocked by political reasons. Should the government insist that it, rather than donors, sign contracts with pharmaceutical firms, it will only experience repeated setbacks,” the NPP said.
Tsai should welcome all efforts from the private sector to overcome political obstacles to secure vaccines, which should not include those produced in China, it said.
People who are inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines should be covered by the nation’s vaccine injury compensation system, regardless of whether they received vaccines purchased by the government or the private sector, it added.
The party also asked why the Ministry of Health and Welfare was in a hurry to sign contracts with local firms Medigen Vaccine Biologics and United Biomedical to preorder a total of 10 million vaccine doses, even though the vaccines have yet to complete phase 2 clinical trials.
The announcement has given people the impression that the government insists on buying domestic vaccines, regardless of the trial results, it said.
The ministry should explain to the public the grounds for its decision, the party said.
“We should not bet our lives on domestic vaccines with unverified trial results,” it said.
The government should focus on collaborating with the private sector to acquire vaccines that have been certified as safe to use, and then quickly administer them to the public, the party added.
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
HAWAII MODEL: While Hawaii held a referendum on becoming the 50th US state, Taiwan has never applied to join the People’s Republic of China, Miles Yu said China comparing Taiwanese independence to Hawaii seeking independence from the US is illogical, as Taiwan has never applied to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hudson Institute senior fellow Miles Yu (余茂春) said over the weekend. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, has given multiple talks asserting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a speech to the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang likened Taiwan to Hawaii. “Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to break away,” Beijing “reserves the right” to seek unification, Wang told the gathering. The
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The