The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday gave support to entertainer Antony Kuo (郭彥均) regarding a social media post he made about COVID-19, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus accused the KMT of “causing a scene.”
Kuo on Wednesday shared on Facebook a screenshot of an alleged conversation with a friend who is a healthcare worker, who apparently said that medical personnel had been working long hours without rest since April 5 amid the current COVID-19 outbreak, adding that “many children have passed away.”
He later apologized and deleted the post after receiving criticism.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Saturday that this kind of “misinformation” was being used to cause fear among the public, and would be investigated.
The response drew criticism from the KMT caucus.
KMT Legislator Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲) yesterday told a news conference that Su was “a cold-blooded bureaucrat,” adding that “losing any child is heartbreaking.”
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that in Singapore, no children had died from COVID-19, whereas Taiwan’s child mortality rate with the virus is 10 times higher than Japan’s and eight times higher than South Korea’s.
“The KMT caucus is using the pandemic to cause a scene, which is not helpful for disease prevention,” DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said yesterday.
Kuo shared the post with good intentions, but a number of people quoted the line about children passing away out of context and caused panic, which is what the premier wants investigated, he said.
Su yesterday said that freedom of speech is fully protected in Taiwan, adding that any behavior that jeopardizes the stability of the society would be handled by the government within the law.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday that there are bound to be different voices in a democratic country, and if voices are suppressed, “it does not mean that the facts do not exist.”
Ko said the government should handle the incident with empathy, as “it was not that serious.”
Additional reporting by Chen Chien-chih and Cheng Ming-hsiang
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