Killer SARS Outbreak Spurs House Members To Write To Powell Urging Him To Actively Support “WHO For Taiwan”

On March 28, thirty Members of the Taiwan Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell calling upon him to rally U.S. support behind Taiwan’s WHO campaign. The House repeat their request of an earlier letter to Powell of February 2003, in which they ask Powell to instruct the U.S. delegation to the annual WHO summit in Geneva in May 2003, to speak out on the floor of the assembly in favor of Taiwan’s observer status in the WHO.

The campaign was initiated by Rep. David Wu (D-OR). Wu states: “This SARS virus outbreak demonstrates to the world the need to admit Taiwan into the WHO. It is our benefit that Taiwan, a democratic island of 23 million and a frequent international travel destination, is completely integrated with the world’s health system.”

The letter reads: “Taiwan-along with several nations across the globe-has been struck by a deadly pneumonia virus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). […] we are deeply disturbed that one of the nations most affected by this outbreak (i.e., Taiwan) was denied assistance when it requested help from the WHO to diagnose and treat suspected cases of SARS.”

It concludes: “In light of the recent SARS crisis, it is apparent that until Taiwan becomes a member of the WHO, the country will be unable to receive assistance from the world’s most preeminent health care body should a health emergency arise. We urge you to instruct the U.S. delegation to Geneva this coming May to speak out on the floor of the WHO assembly in favor of Taiwan’s observer status.”

FAPA President Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D. states: “Although the occurrence of this SARS outbreak is extremely sad, we believe that this is again an illustration of the absolute urgency of the WHO to allow Taiwan in as a member. The SARS outbreak and the recurring enterovirus that annually kills scores of young children in Taiwan need to be dealt with.”

Wu emphasizes: “This is not political-lives are at stake here!”

 

眾議院就SARS致函鮑威爾,為台灣參與世衛進行遊說

正當台灣的SARS疫情不斷發燒時,二十多位美國眾議員今日聯署致函國務卿鮑威爾,表示台灣不應讓再被排拒在世界衛生組織門外,美國應該在今年世衛(WHO)大會上,公開支持台灣觀察員的身份。

這封信是由台灣出生的眾議員吳掁偉(David Wu, D-OR)所發起的,在短短一個星期之內就獲得了二十多位議員的響應。吳掁偉議員表示:「SARS疫情的爆發與後續擴大的情形,再再都顯示出國際社會到了必須讓台灣參與世衛的時候。讓台灣,這個有著二千三百萬人口的民主國家,並且也是一國際熱門旅遊點,能夠完全的融入國際衛生系統中,國際社會也將從中受益。」

議員們在信中表示:「台灣以及其他數個國家,都同時有多起SARS病例爆發,然而,我們對於台灣尋求WHO直接幫助竟遭拒絕一事,感到相當地反感。」信中並表示:「與其專注於提供台灣人民需要的醫療需求,WHO卻以政治考量與迎合中國的私利來決定台灣能否參與世衛,這樣的行為是沒有道德良心的。」信中最後並表示:「即使當前SARS肆虐,我們可以確定的是,只要台灣不是世衛一員,就算有緊急案例爆例,台灣就絕不可能得到世界最重要的衛生組織的協助。」議員最後呼籲鮑卿能指示今年的美國世衛代表團,幫助台灣得到世衛觀察員的身份。

台灣人公共事務會會長吳明基表示:「台灣不幸地受到SARS感染,從世衛的處理態度看來,這是展示出台灣在國際社會孤立無援的最佳例子。世界上沒有一個國家是可以完全免疫的,台灣過去曾有腸病毒的肆虐,奪走了多位孩童的性命,現在SARS病毒又造成人心惶惶。台灣、中國、香港之間的國際旅客每天往來的人數與次數非常的頻繁,當中國與香港都為WHO會員能直接與WHO溝通,獲得WHO的協助時,台灣地被排除在外,顯得格外地不合情也不合理。」吳明基最後語重心長地表示:「人命攸天,現在不是WHO或是中國玩弄政治角力的時候。」

 

 

 

 

(March 28. 2003) Killer SARS Outbreak Spurs House Members To Write To Powell Urging Him To Actively Support “WHO For Taiwan” / 眾議院就SARS致函鮑威爾,為台灣參與世衛進行遊說