Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members accused pan-blue camp politicians of spreading misinformation after they claimed that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had already been inoculated before receiving a shot of the locally developed Medigen COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and New Party legislator Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) said that Tsai had in April visited the American Institute in Taiwan to receive two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and asked her to take an antibody test and announce the results. His request was backed by KMT members.
DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) yesterday said that “KMT politicians are full of distrust. They have no legitimacy to make such a claim.”
Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times
Cheng said that when Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, KMT members at the time said that the vaccination was staged.
“People should respect that Tsai is the president, the leader of our nation. Her health condition has to be guarded as a state secret and she does not need to stage a fake event,” Cheng said.
“Tsai is supporting Taiwan’s locally produced vaccine, which is of vital importance to our nation,” he added. “The KMT is suspicious about everything. They lack decency in making such accusations.”
“As the leader of our nation, it is not possible for Tsai to take a medical test whenever someone makes a claim on this issue. It is inappropriate to question our president’s health condition this way. It is regretful to see the KMT resort to such tactics,” Cheng added.
DPP legislative caucus secretary-general Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said there should be reasonable doubt when openly questioning someone, “but we are sorry to see the KMT making unreasonable claims, which are malicious in their intent.”
“The KMT’s actions amount to pouring dirty water on someone to accuse them, then demanding that the person prove their innocence. This is a malicious way of accusation and our society must not tolerate it,” Lo said.
The world is still under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks have been resurging in many countries, DPP legislative caucus director-general Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said.
“We have undertaken the national strategy of producing vaccines domestically, so that we can depend on ourselves and not have to rely on supplies from other countries,” Liu said.
“Tsai is showing her support for Taiwan’s locally produced vaccine, which has undergone trials to obtain scientific data that back its effectiveness. It is good for our president to publicly show her support,” Liu added.
“However, opposition politicians are mocking our president and ridiculing the Medigen vaccine. They are politicizing the issue, making false accusations and vilifying the vaccine. This is not what an opposition party should be doing,” she said.
Separately, the online group MedPartner, comprising medical professionals and cosmetic surgeons, criticized KMT members for spreading the rumor that Tsai had already been vaccinated.
The group on Facebook said that “this is another KMT conspiracy theory, claiming that Tsai had been inoculated with other vaccine brands and already had COVID-19 antibodies. So the KMT demanded that Tsai take a test to check if she had antibodies.”
“This kind of accusation is pointless. Even if Tsai undergoes antibody testing, the KMT and nonbelievers will still say the test result is forged,” the group said.
MedPartner also pointed to an allegation by KMT politicians that Medigen was taking advantage of people receiving its vaccine to “conduct phase 3 clinical trials for free.”
It is a baseless claim by the KMT, Medpartner said.
“People need to follow a process to sign up for a medical trial. They receive detailed medical information and an explanation, and must sign a personal consent form,” it said.
“This is followed by an evaluation of their health conditions and collection of blood samples for follow-up assessments,” it added.
“However, there has been no such collection of blood samples from people receiving the Medigen vaccine before or after inoculation. So what is this ‘free phase 3 clinical trial’ they are talking about ? It is lamentable to see such an accusation from an opposition party,” the group said.
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