Taiwan’s Weapon Against Coronavirus: An Epidemiologist as Vice President

Chen Chien-jen has embraced a rare dual role, using his political authority as vice president to criticize China’s response to the virus even as he hunkers down to analyze trends in transmission.

The New York Times
Date: May 9, 2020
By: Javier C. Hernández and Chris Horton

Vice President Chen Chien-jen of Taiwan in 2018.Credit…Tyrone Siu/Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The calls come at night, when Taiwan’s vice president, Chen Chien-jen, is usually at home in his pajamas. Scientists seek his advice on the development of antiviral medications. Health officials ask for guidance as they investigate an outbreak of the coronavirus on a navy ship.

Like many world leaders, Mr. Chen is fighting to keep the coronavirus at bay and to predict the course of the pandemic. He is tracking infections, pushing for vaccines and testing kits, and reminding the public to wash their hands.

But unlike most officials, Mr. Chen has spent his career preparing for this moment — he is a Johns Hopkins-trained epidemiologist and an expert in viruses.

That experience has thrust Mr. Chen from behind the scenes to the forefront of Taiwan’s response to the crisis. He has embraced his rare dual role, using his political authority to criticize China for initially trying to conceal the virus even as the scientist in him hunkers down to analyze trends in transmission.    [FULL  STORY]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.