The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) legislative caucus yesterday urged Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) to submit a self-review report on his COVID-19 prevention performance before he resigns to run for Taipei mayor.
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Executive Committee yesterday nominated Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), as the party’s Taipei mayoral candidate.
TPP Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) said that about 20,000 to 30,000 local COVID-19 cases are still being reported every day, but Chen is “running away” from his job without finishing it, which was irresponsible.
Chen in a question-and-answer session at the legislature on April 18 said he would not considering running in the local elections until Taiwan’s COVID-19 situation eases, Tsai said.
Video footage of the session shows Chen saying: “I have not considered it [leaving his post for the election] yet,” and “I am not thinking about it.”
TPP Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said the CECC under Chen’s leadership has made many bad decisions, such as failing to obtain vaccines, rapid test kits and oral antivirals in a timely manner, and letting many locally made Medigen COVID-19 vaccine doses expire.
Chen had said he would “bear the responsibility” for shortening quarantine for Taiwan-based airline crew members to “3+11,” which opposition parties have said caused a local COVID-19 outbreak last year, but he has not apologized and is now leaving his responsibilities behind, Chiu said.
TPP legislative caucus office director Chen Wan-hui (陳琬惠), who is running for Yilan County Commissioner, said of a local government head should be trustworthy, responsible and put people first.
She asked whether Chen Shih-chunghas these traits, as he has not attended recent daily CECC news briefings, even though many COVID-19 cases are being reported every day.
Citing Chen Shih-chung’s Facebook post on Sunday saying “when responsibility comes, I will bear it,” Chen Wan-hui said that the TPP has held many news conferences over the past two years pointing out the CECC’s problems, but the center and the ministry have ignored them.
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