Former U.S. ambassador to U.N. lauds Taiwan’s COVID-19 response

A makeshift quick test station at a hospital in Taipei.

TAIPEI (CNA) — Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power praised Taiwan’s success in containing the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Twitter Tuesday.

Power tweeted that although Taiwan has been facing the COVID-19 alone, it has been able to contain the virus and keep schools and businesses open.

She also called a crowdfunded newspaper advertisement arguing that Taiwan is isolated from the World Health Organization (WHO) a powerful one.

Following claims by WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus that Taiwan is behind a campaign of personal attacks against him on April 8, Taiwanese YouTuber Ray Du (阿滴) and graphic designer Aaron Nieh (聶永真), among others, initiated the crowdfunding campaign on April 10.

That campaign, which receiving nearly NT$20 million from over 26,000 donors, resulted in an ad that appeared in the New York Times April 14, detailing Taiwan’s efforts to combat COVID-19 despite being isolated from the WHO.

The full-page ad, published in both print and online versions of the paper, also highlighted the message “Taiwan can help” other countries with the coronavirus pandemic.

Power retweeted:”Powerful ad from#Taiwan in @Nytimes today. Bc/Taiwan is not a @UN member state & bc/Beijing has [email protected] to not include Taiwan in deliberations, Taiwan has confronted #COVID alone. Yet applying lessons of SARS, it contained virus & kept schools & businesses open.”

Born in 1970, Power is an Irish born American academic, journalist, and diplomat who served as the 28th U.N. Ambassador to the U.S. from 2013 to 2017.

She won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2003 with a book titled “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (2002).

The crowdfunded ad begins with the question “WHO can help?” followed by the answer: “Taiwan.”

The ad reads: “In a time of isolation, we choose solidarity. You are not alone. Taiwan is with you.”

It then states that the people of Taiwan experienced similar hardships during the SARS epidemic in 2003 and Taiwan knows how it feels to be isolated because it has been isolated from the WHO.

Taiwan did attend the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, as an observer from 2009 to 2016 but it has been blocked from attending since then due to pressure from China.

The ad also says Taiwan has donated 16 million surgical masks to support frontline medical workers around the world over the past few weeks and is working with the U.S. and European Union to develop rapid screening kits and vaccines to combat COVID-19.

“Who can isolate Taiwan? No one. Because we are here to help,” states the ad.