【An open letter to Dr Tedros 一封致予譚德塞博士的公開信】
This is an open letter to Dr Tedros, the Director General of the WHO, in response to the accusations against Taiwan during the 8th of April WHO press conference.
Dear Dr Tedros, I am Vivi Lin from Taiwan, a current undergraduate student studying Infectious Diseases in the UK.
親愛的譚德塞博士， 我是Vivi Lin，一位目前正在英國念傳染病的臺灣大學生。
Upon hearing your response in the press conference today, I was utterly shocked and saddened that such misleading allegations could come from a supposedly respected health professional and the head of the world’s most influential international health organisation.
As a student who has been working closely with Taiwanese and British Medical and Health-related NGOs, I can affirm that there has never been any disrespectful comments from our government and our diplomats towards you and the African continent due to race, culture or skin colour.
I am aware that there are various petitions online urging for your resignation from the WHO. However, none of the requests or criticisms were based on discriminations against your race or skin colour, nor people from the African continent.
Taiwan has been striving to contribute as much as possible to the international community and to be a part of the global team in combating this pandemic. Although we have been excluded from the WHO, we have never given up. Our government has done an exemplary job in containing the virus, a feat that has been praised by officials and health professionals from all around the world. And now, as we have some spare capacity, we are sending aid to our allies and other countries, including those in America, Europe and in Africa who have been harshly impacted by the outbreak.
臺灣一直以來都非常努力地在為國際社會的醫衛做出貢獻，我們也始終希望能在這場全球傳染病戰役中，與世界站在一起。 即便我們被世衛排除在外，臺灣也從未放棄貢獻一己之力。 臺灣在這次COVID19防疫上的傑出成果，是世界有目共睹的。而現在，當我們有額外的資源時，也不吝於分享給我們在美洲、歐洲及非洲的友邦與其他正在受到疫情影響的國家。
According to our health professionals who used to work closely with various countries in Africa, a temporary hospital has been built by Taiwan in Eswatini at the moment, and some important medical supplies sent by Taiwan are finding their way to Africa as well.
With all the aforementioned in mind, how can you, in a few sentences, attempt to smear Taiwan’s reputation with such irresponsible and false accusations?
In the past two days, WHO hosted webinars in regards to how we, as individuals or as health professionals and officials, should confront the current info-demic. Ironically, just right after the webinar, Dr Tedros, as the DG of the WHO, was accusing Taiwan with misinformation.
I firmly believe that health is a fundamental human right that should not be denied despite differences of any kind. Health for all, leave no one behind is also the core value that the WHO stands for. Please do not forget your dedication as a public health professional and the vows that you made when you ascended to the honorable position you are sitting at right now - health of people in the world comes first, not politics.
我一直相信，健康，是所有人皆擁有的基本人權。 全民健康，沒有人應被排除在外，也是世衛堅守的核心價值。 （譚德塞博士）請不要忘記您作為一個公衛專家的信念，以及您接任幹事長時所立下的誓言——「全球人民的健康當為第一位，而非政治。」
We are now facing the most challenging health crisis of our time. Taiwan cares about people’s health. We are willing to help, and we are helping now. Taiwan is a country that stands for progressive values, and we, as the Taiwanese people, are also known for our appreciation for diversity. We have never criticised you nor your actions based on your race, culture or skin colour.
I, on behalf of my beloved country and people, am now asking for an apology from you under the current circumstance.
Thank you for your time.
Vivi Lin 2020.4.8