The number of novel coronavirus disease cases is skyrocketing across the globe. The U.S. has become the new epicenter. Several thousands of miles away, Taiwan has been able to keep the number of coronavirus infections relatively low, with about 300 confirmed cases and merely five related deaths, despite its proximity to and active economic activities with the Chinese mainland. Taiwanese schools are not closed. Businesses are still open, and government offices continue in operation. The daily lives of the public are not seriously disrupted.
Wang examined the policies being exercised by the Taiwanese government, including taking it seriously and responding quickly; strict enforcement of mitigation measures; and effective government coordination, along with citizens’ voluntary participation. The contrast between Taiwan and the United States illustrates that early actions and coordinated responses can drastically affect how the public adjusts during a public health emergency. It is time for the Trump administration to learn from the Taiwanese government, who has led by example in its containment of the coronavirus. Wang concluded that a coordinated response from the federal government is urgently needed, which may save the United States from having a health-care catastrophe.
Taiwan Insight is an online magazine hosted by the Taiwan Studies Programme, University of Nottingham, UK.