After nearly two years of Taiwan maintaining its place as one of the safest places in the world during the global coronavirus pandemic, Chen Shih-chung seems to have decided to sacrifice the elderly, the immunocompromised, and the frail of Taiwan through his unwillingness to even attempt to control the latest explosion in cases.

Rather than restricting places with the highest frequency spread, such as restaurants, nighlife, and crowded venues, he is encouraging the opposite, suggesting that people continue their normal lives.

The basis for his “analysis” justifying his inaction is as contradictory as it is erroneous. Many have asked him about comparisons between Taiwan and Shanghai, a city with a metropolitan population comparative to Taiwan. While in Shanghai, the Chinese government enforced strict lockdowns to protect its population, Chen Shih-chung has instead encouraged normalcy during this outbreak. When asked about such comparison, he dismissed the relationship on the basis of different vaccine types between the two, suggesting Taiwanese people had less to worry about. But when pressed on why he would not even try increasing lockdown measures, he then suggested that because case numbers had still increased in Shanghai despite the lockdowns, that lockdowns were a failure there, and that despite previously saying that Taiwan and Shanghai were not alike, he then suggested that they were actually similar, and that he shouldn’t bother with lockdowns.

Even in the face of two years of evidence that strict quarantine measures, contact tracing, and community prevention measures like lockdowns do work, Chen Shih-chung seems obstinantly resolute in his choice to throw away the two and a half years of sacrifice that Taiwan has put into place. For whose benefit though, nobody can be sure.

Instead of sharing the detailed reports that showed that the vast majority of those infected have been double or triple vaccinated, Chen Shih-chung has decided to stop releasing that data (as of March 29th) in favor of a new metric designed to minimize the seriousness of the disease. The new graphic shows that just a small share of the recently infected in Taiwan have been hospitalized, as if that should even the primary concern as new data gets released every month showing that infertility, diabetes, and irreversible brain damage may be caused by even mild COVID infection.

As Chen Shih-chung has made clear with his capitulation, he has utterly failed at protecting Taiwan’s population from the spread of the virus, and when given the chance to change course, has decided to abdicate responsibility and take no further measures to prevent spread at public venues.

As such, he should apologize to the Taiwanese people for his abject failure and the deaths caused by his incompetence and inaction, resign immediately from his position, and vow to the people of Taiwan that for his intention to sacrifice the weak of Taiwan for the sake of economic normalcy, that he will never again serve in public office for the rest of his natural life.


Science sources:

Source on Chen Shih-chung’s statements: