Skip to comments.What does Dr Frist have to say about it?
Posted on 04/18/2003 6:39:31 AM PDT by tallhappy
By David Ragsdale
Friday, Apr 18, 2003,Page 8
`Apparently the international community objects to the notion of maintaining the health and well being of Taiwan's 23 million citizens.'
"I see WHO's role as being the moral voice... in improving health of the people of the world. I see our purpose to be combating disease and ill-health... in all countries."
-- Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General, World Health Organization.
Imagine the following scenario. A chilling new disease, mysterious and deadly, originating from Syria, spreads across the Middle East. Israel, through a combination of good governance, a capable and efficient public health system, and luck, is spared the ordeal experienced by her neighbors. It is later discovered that Syria has lied about the development and origins of this disease, covering up for many months the extent to which it has ravaged her population, allowing it to spread, and hindering international efforts to curb it.
Israel, neighboring Syria, quite rightly asks for the to WHO help in its continued fight against this disease, but because of Arab and Muslim opposition, the world health body refuses to send delegations or medical staff into Israeli territories, while sending in team after team into Damascus, despite Syria's continued lies and hindrances.
I would imagine that the official reaction from the administration of US President George W. Bush to this injustice would be nothing short of spectacular.
Of course this scenario is fiction, although not completely. Substitute China for Syria and Taiwan for Israel and you have the sad situation facing this island democracy. While SARS spreads across Asia and WHO specialists race from small villages to major cities across this vast continent, the people of Taiwan (and by extension the rest of the world, what hits Taipei tomorrow will end up in major American cities within a month) are needlessly exposed to greater risk by the WHO boycott of their country.
For years, Taiwan has tried to become an observer member of the WHO, and for years this application has been denied because of objections lodged by the communist dictatorship in Beijing. While the rest of the world will trade with and reap the financial benefits of a relationship with Taiwan, apparently the international community objects to the notion of maintaining the health and well-being of Taiwan's 23 million citizens.
While Taiwan has valiantly staved off the worst effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), China has consistently prevaricated and stymied the efforts of the medical community to investigate the origins of this new disease. Yet, it is China which is allowed to determine who shall and who shall not be afforded recognition by international health organizations.
Today and tomorrow, US Senator Bill Frist, along with several of his colleagues, will be in Taipei for a 24-hour stopover on their Easter recess Asia junket. This brief visit is a perfect opportunity for Frist to publicly reaffirm the US' strong support for Taiwan's entry into the WHO.
America's commitment to Taiwan must be shown, not just in the eventuality of war, but also in times of medical crisis. If anyone should know about the dangers of medical neglect, it would be the good doctor.
David Ragsdale is a freelance writer based in Taipei.
We are all in the WTO.
Your comments make no real sense except if you want to begin addressing broader issues that relate to just about every other country.
How in the world can your comments be forthcoming from a discussion of the WHO's refusal to be active in Taiwan?
It's a non-sequitar.
The miracle is that mainland China allows them to do so. It's the one that is belligerant.
i believe that this is the same Gro Harlem Bruntland who was the Norwegian Prime Minister whose socialist government spent that nation to the brink of bankruptcy in the 80's.
It seems as if she has now decided to do the same thing for the entire world under the guise of "It's for the health of the world". Substitute Children for health of the world, and who does this sound like?
No guessing needed! i don't think any American needs to guess on this week eh? All they have to do is look at their tax forms.
Gee, since i pay her salary, does this mean that i can fire the B!tc#?
That is a good point.
It is an injustice Taiwan is not in the UN. But, at the same time, they are lucky. I'd rather we not be in the UN. I'd rather see the UN die.