Thiessen: As Taiwan shows, the antidote to the virus is freedom

Taiwan has had six deaths out of a total of just 393 confirmed cases

The Mercury News
Date: April 19, 2020
By: Marc A. Thiessen

People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they shop at a market in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

WASHINGTON — We continue to learn more about the Chinese Communist regime’s lies and culpability in the global coronavirus pandemic. But if you want to see the difference between how a totalitarian and a free Chinese society handles a public health emergency, just contrast the actions of the People’s Republic with those of the Republic of China, Taiwan. One is responsible for unleashing a contagion that has infected more than 2 million people; the other has all but defeated the virus.

Taiwan should have seen the second-largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the world, according to an analysis published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. The island is just 81 miles off the coast of China, had 2.7 million visitors from the mainland last year and has about 1.25 million citizens who either reside in or work in China. Yet Taiwan has seen only six people die of COVID-19 out of a total of just 393 confirmed cases. Even more amazing, 338 of those cases were individuals infected abroad. In other words, Taiwan has seen just 55 local infections, which means it has effectively eliminated community transmission. Earlier this week, the government reported zero new COVID-19 cases in Taiwan.

What is most impressive is that Taiwan has done all this without ordering its population to shelter in place or shutting down schools, restaurants, stores and other businesses. As a result, Taiwan’s economy is not experiencing the same economic damage as countries under lockdown.

So how did Taiwan succeed where Beijing failed? According to the JAMA study, Taiwan took rapid and specific actions to identify and isolate those who either had the virus or came into contact with those who did.    [FULL  STORY]

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