Guest Editorial: World Health Needs Taiwan

Guest editorial by Georgia House of Representatives

By State Representatives Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) and Matt Dollar (R-Marietta)

            In 2020, the world experienced one of the worst pandemics in recent history. Many countries suffered horrible losses, both human and economic. In January 2020, Taiwan reported the potential outbreak of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO), but due to Taiwan’s politically motivated exclusion, the WHO neglected this information. In doing so, Taiwan was unable to share its knowledge of this virus and its medical expertise from combatting the similar SARS virus with the rest of the world in a timely manner.

            Acting alone without the support of the WHO, Taiwan took early actions to stop the spread of the virus domestically. Due to these successful measures, only 10 Taiwanese citizens have died as a result of the virus, and life in Taiwan has largely remained normal throughout the past year. Since early last year, Taiwan has independently reached out to its international friends, especially the U.S., to offer support in the forms of knowledge and physical resources. Taiwan has donated hundreds of thousands of surgical and N95 masks to the Southeast U.S. alone. The representatives of Taiwan in our area have made an effort to donate masks and supplies where they are most needed, and our communities have directly benefitted from these efforts. 

            In 2020, Taiwan tried repeatedly to gain some form of involvement in the WHO to share knowledge and resources with the world through the formal channel. However, the WHO has continued to refuse Taiwan’s admittance based solely on the political aspirations and intimidation of China. Taiwan’s exclusion is harmful to not only Taiwan’s 23.5 million people, but to all of the people of the world as they are unable to reap the benefits of Taiwan’s desire to share knowledge and resources. Taiwan stepped up individually to help the world, but it is a shame that the WHO did not step up to help Taiwan have an even bigger impact in the past year. 

            I hope others will join me in advocating for Taiwan’s immediate inclusion, which will be mutually beneficial to the people of Taiwan and to us here in Georgia.

Representative Bruce Williamson represents the citizens of District 115, which includes portions of Walton County. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the House Majority Caucus. He also serves on the Banks & Banking, Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications, Insurance, Governmental Affairs, Regulated Industries, Rules and Ways & Means committees.

Representative Matt Dollar represents the citizens of District 45, which includes portions of Cobb and Fulton counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 and currently serves as Chairman of the Creative Arts & Entertainment Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and the Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications, Insurance, Interstate Cooperation and Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment committees.

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