We support this open letter 100%. We stand with Taiwan.
An open letter to the World Health Organization (from TAIWAN)
“Hello Internet, my name is Ray, I’m a YouTuber from Taiwan, and this is an open letter to the World Health Organization.
Dear WHO, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but a lot of your members have been voicing support for the inclusion of Taiwan in the WHO.
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak was designated as a global health emergency, core WHO members and their heads of state and officials, including Justin Trudeau, Shinzo Abe, 7 American senators, and the European Union (and more), have called on you to grant at the very least observer status to Taiwan. Having said that, I feel like as a Taiwanese citizen, it’s imperative that we also speak up for ourselves.
Disease knows no boundaries. Taiwan’s participation in the WHO is crucial not just to Taiwan but also to the world. A concerted, global effort is the only way to ensure the health and welfare of everyone. The coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China, has already spread to other regions and countries, excluding Taiwan could make it a “blind spot” in the international response to the disease.
Additionally, back in 2003, the SARS outbreak resulted in 73 lives taken in Taiwan. If we had been included in the WHO back then, we would’ve had better understanding of the virus and maybe, who knows, more lives could have been saved.
But we’re not just here playing the victim here, Taiwan can help. Taiwan’s healthcare system is lauded as among the best in the world, and our medical standards are generally on par with top global countries. The inclusion of Taiwan in world health assemblies and events would enable it to share its invaluable experiences in combating SARS, Ebola and other pandemics, helping countries around the world, including China. With our universal health coverage, health emergency response, and professional medical training, Taiwan can benefit the world.
Now you might say, Taiwan’s already represented by China in the WHO, but Taiwan’s geological separation and its independent disease control system and air traffic management provide further justification to why the WHO must take different approaches to Taiwan and China amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Also, given our proximity, Taiwan is at the very frontline battling this coronavirus from China, and we are skilled, determined, and equipped with past experiences combating different viruses. Excluding us is putting close to 24 million lives and the global population at risk.
As a Taiwanese, as a member of the global community, I am asking you on behalf of the world to include Taiwan. By allowing our participation in the WHO, you will be realizing the organization’s vision of health as a basic human right and health for all without exception. Thank you for your time.”