Why Don’t We Learn From Taiwan Success on Coronavirus?
For two months, we talked about Taiwan’s success in fighting
coronavirus. Today, its 24 million people have only 355 cases and 5
deaths. There are very few new cases and a flat curve.
The New York/North Jersey Metro area has roughly 14 million people–
less than two thirds the people of Taiwan. Yet it has roughly 160,000
cases, nearly half of all cases in the United States. And it has
roughly 3,500 deaths. Even worse, the disease is still out of
control. Its curve is still rising sharply.
In Taiwan, schools and businesses are open, people are working, and
factories are producing. Taiwan has no bailouts and no new debt or
taxes to pay for one. Meanwhile, New York, like most of America, has
been in an unsustainable lockdown for more than three weeks. Congress
just approved a $2 trillion bailout without telling anyone how we will
pay for it. Already, politicians are talking about doing another
Every day, public health “experts” like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr.
Deborah Birx — and most Democrats– tell us we have no choice but
to shut down our economy for another four weeks and possibly longer.
They say reopening schools and businesses will cause more sickness and
death. All of them use the failed methods used by Italy as their
model. None of them even mentioned the success of Taiwan. Why?
First, let’s look what Taiwan does to control coronavirus.
1. Taiwan closely controls its borders, and examines and
quarantines everyone who comes into the country. It does not allow
anyone to enter the country illegally.
2. Taiwan does rigorous mass testing, even for people not
showing symptoms. This is important because people infected with
coronavirus spread the disease even when they don’t have symptoms.
Taiwan also requires families to take everyone’s temperatures at least
twice each day. Abnormal temperatures must be reported immediately
for further testing. Anyone who fails to take these temperatures or
report fevers is can be fined $10,000. Someone who tests negative at
first, but later gets a fever is retested.
3. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus is quarantined and
neighbors, friends, and co-workers are notified. Those who are
quarantined must stay in their homes until tested and released by
authorities. Cell phone apps are used to enforce quarantines. Anyone
who breaks quarantine is fined.
4. Anyone who tests positive for corona virus must give detail
histories of his or her whereabout and who they contacted while
contagious. Those contacts are then also questioned and quarantined.
5. Masks for all. Because mere speaking is enough to spread the
coronavirus, everyone must wear a mask when out in public.
Those measures may seem harsh and dictatorial.
However, they only apply to a small fraction of people. Also, they
were commonly used in this country to stop the spread of measles,
scarlet fever, diptheria and polio right through the 1950’s. Also,
this was done very effectively by state and local health officials
long before the federal government got involved.
Because of these measures, Taiwan is one of only six
countries in the world where schools and businesses are open. It is
also recognized as “safe to travel” for coronavirus.
After seeing what Taiwan does, it is clear that our
government officials are not serious about stopping coronavirus here—
even though we are now ibn our fourth week of lockdown.
Although all “non-essential” businesses are closed, we are still in
contact with each other, and the coronavirus is still spreading.
Everybody needs food, supplies, toilet paper, medical care, and
repairs. The people and businesses who sell us those things have
employees, and those employees need to travel to get to work. Unlike
in Taiwan, we have no idea who is infected and spreading the disease.
1. Unlike Taiwan, we are not testing anyone without
symptoms. That means many infected “spreaders” are customers or
employees at the “essential businesses” where we shop.
2. We do not have enforceable quarantines. Spreaders
who test positive are asked to stay home, but there does not appear to
be any enforcement. There are well known cases in and around
Atlantic City where someone who tested positive continued to have
close social contact with others and openly bragged about it.
3. When spreaders test positive, there do not appear
to be systematic investigation of their previous contacts and follow
up quarantines for them.
4. The public is not informed of names or even the
neighborhoods or occupations of those who test positive. This is a
direct result of the culture of HIPAA and patient privacy “rights”
that came out of the AIDS/HIV epidemic of the 1980’s. This makes it
virtually impossible to use time-tested quarantine methods to stop
epidemics like this. Because of this, mass testing would do little
good in many cases.
5. Although many members of the public are wearing
masks in public, federal officials have not yet embraced #MasksforAll
. State and local officials do not require them as they do in
Taiwan, Israel, and many other countries. Employees at Wawa and Acme
say they will not wear masks unless the government requires it.
In short, top US health officials are using total
lockdowns as a substitute for the targeted measures taken by
Taiwan–just like health officials in Spain and Italy. Those
measures have destroyed the economies of those countries, yet they did
not stop the disease as the Taiwan measures did!
We are disappointed that our U.S. health officials did
not use the past three weeks to start doing what Taiwan does, so we
can quickly and safely go back to work. Instead, our our public
health officials and politicians are talking about further extensions
of the lockdown and more bailouts to pay people out of work and
businesses that are closed. Why?
1. Today’s U.S. public health policies were made in
the 1980’s during the AIDS/HIV epidemic. At that time, most victims
of that disease were gay, and did not want their sexual orientation to
be disclosed. That is why we have HIPAA laws. That is why health
officials today make patient privacy “rights” more important than
saving lives and stopping the spread of disease.
2. Since 1949, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime
that runs Mainland China has claimed that Taiwan has no right to exist
as an independent country. Therefore, it uses bribes and threats to
stop the media, government leaders, and public officials around the
world from praising, supporting, recognizing, or even mentioning
Taiwan in any way—even if this causes more disease and death.
3. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have become
bloated and unresponsive bureaucracies. Those agencies are staffed by
people who did not have to deal with a major pandemic in 35 years.
They are led by veterans of the AIDS/HIV epidemic of the 1980s, a much
different disease. In many ways, those agencies are like the French
army of at the beginning of World War 2. They knew how to fight the
last war, but not the next one. In many ways, they are like too many
generals in the U.S. Army who are less able to win wars than American
generals in World War 2. Military historian Thomas C. Ricks described
this in his book “The Generals” and in various video presentations
like this one: https://youtu.be/OehvY94N-WA
4. When a federal agency takes responsibility for
emergencies like a hurricane or epidemic, local officials are too
often unwilling or unable to act, even when they have much better
knowledge of the local situation. That is because local politicians
don’t want to spend money and raise local taxes, if they believe a
federal agency will pay. That is why it took more than a month to set
up testing centers in South Jersey. During the 1944 Hurricane and
1962 “March Storm” local residents and officials acted quickly to save
lives, repair damage, and welcome tourists by Memorial Day. During
Hurricane Sandy in 2012, weeks went by before action was taken, and
much additional damage was caused by mold, because property owners
and local officials waited for federal officials to arrive.