US’ Azar applauds Taiwan before visit

PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 09, 2020

In this July 31 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump on the coronavirus outbreak at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla.
Photo: AP

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks.

Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates.

“The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China. “It’s about public health, it’s about our partnership with Taiwan, but also the model that Taiwan offers to the world community of a transparent and open healthcare system. It is a model others can learn from.”

The trip is a geopolitical chess move in Washington’s contentious relationship with China, which has voiced concerns about the trip to Washington and called on the US to stop government-to-government interactions with Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

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