By Doug Blois
Taiwan was formed in 1949 when Chian Kai Shek’s followers were pushed onto the island after a civil war. The democratic government of Taiwan and the communist government of mainland China remain enemies to this day.
But due their proximity to mainland China (90 miles), they knew at the beginning of January of the spreading virus, and instituted a travel ban from China on Jan. 6. They were able to do this because in Taiwan, public policy and science are one and the same. Their Vice President was educated at John Hopkins Medical School with a degree in epidemiology. Due to continued smart policy, the death toll today from the virus in Taiwan is a grand total of 6. Compare that to the County of Ventura, which has a population 27 times smaller than Taiwan, but a death toll from the virus to date of 17 (almost 3 times higher).
Taiwan did not shut down their economy. But they used smart scientific responses to limit the spread of the virus. President Trump has also attempted to follow science in his response. In his State of the Union speech, in the middle of January, he mentioned the outbreak of the virus in China. Nancy Pelosi, who was consumed with impeachment, very publicly ripped up her copy of his speech. When President Trump instituted a travel ban from China on Jan. 31st (probably the first after Taiwan’s ban), he was called a zenophobe by Joe Biden. There has been tremendous push back to science by the President’s political opponents, which includes the major media, here in the US.
We need to get back to a proper scientific response to the virus here in the US. We desperately need to reopen our economy, with safe, scientific precautions, which all of us understand by now.
Doug Blois is a resident of Camarillo