Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members of abusing their “special privileges” to receive COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of schedule.
DPP legislative caucus secretary-general Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said that the KMT had orchestrated a conspiracy campaign.
KMT officials misled the public by denigrating the government’s efforts to obtain vaccines, and spread disinformation on the supposed ill effects of COVID-19 jabs to sow fear in society and create distrust in the government, Lo told a briefing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times
“KMT officials spread fabricated news against the AstraZeneca vaccine. They pushed these lies to make people hesitant to receive the jabs, thereby giving themselves the chance to jump the line to be vaccinated through their connections and privilege,” Lo said.
KMT Central Standing Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文) said online that the AstraZeneca vaccine had adverse effects, Lo said.
“We later found out that his father, Lien Chan (連戰), had already received the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Lo added.
“Former KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) urged people to receive Chinese vaccines and publicly said that he would take the lead in doing so. However, Ting has been found to have received the AstraZeneca jab last month, by using his connections to jump the line ahead of people on the priority vaccination list,” Lo said.
Another example is former KMT legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), who has said that Japan donated AstraZeneca vaccines to Taiwan because Japanese did not want them, and called Taiwan a “vaccine beggar,” he said.
However, “Chang himself used his special privilege to get the AstraZeneca jab at E-Da Hospital in Kaohsiung. So he took the jab that he said Japanese did not want, while he continued to accuse the government of being a ‘vaccine beggar,’” he added.
Lo also said that former KMT Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味), former KMT legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and other prominent KMT figures received the AstraZeneca vaccine by using their connections to jump ahead of eligible people on the priority list.
DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said that Taiwan initially experienced difficulty in obtaining vaccines, and later received donations from Japan and the US.
“We see KMT members striving to get their shots. They act like the wealthy elite class, as they look down upon regular people, while using their privilege to jump ahead of the vaccination line,” Cheng said.
DPP legislative caucus director-general Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said that a probe into Ting’s case found that Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei allegedly had more than 100 people on its “special privilege” list.
KMT members and other people also allegedly skirted regulations to receive shots ahead of the priority list at Good Liver Clinic and Dianthus Pediatric Clinic in Taipei, Liu said.
“The Taipei City Government has reportedly obtained these ‘special privilege’ lists. However, investigators from the city’s Ethics Department in their report did not reveal all the names. We call on the Taipei City Government to fully disclose all those who had been vaccinated,” she said.
“Medical personnel had to wait in line according to the priority list. The same goes for other people working on the frontline in contact with potentially infected people. People will not accept line jumping to get jabs through connections and special privilege,” Liu said.
“We demand that the Taipei City Government stop concealing the information and shifting the blame to others. It must make a full public disclosure right now.”
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