U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar arrived in Taiwan. He tweeted saying that he and his delegation were all tested negative for COVID-19. He said he represents U.S. President Donald Trump in his support for Taiwan.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II arrived in Taiwan in the afternoon on August 9. He and his delegation then underwent testing for COVID-19. He tweeted on the morning of August 10 that all were tested negative and that he's happy to express the U.S.' support for Taiwan. When he met with President Tsai on the morning of August 10, all members were wearing masks and, instead of shaking hands, Tsai cupped her hands in front her chest to show respect.
I'm honored to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan. Taiwan's response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world. That is the tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan's society and culture.
Other than expressing Trump's support to Taiwan, Azar said the United States and Taiwan will continue to engage in cooperation and he praised Taiwan for presenting some of the most successful disease-preventing efforts. Azar also expressed condolences for the late ex-President Lee Teng-hui.
Lee Teng-hui, the father of Taiwan's democracy and one of the great leaders of the 20th Century's movement toward democracy.
President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan's public is happy to see face masks worn by the American officials were all made in Taiwan. She said she believes Taiwan and the U.S. could exchange ideas on disease prevention and find ways to collaborate. She also criticized the WHA for excluding Taiwan.
I will stress again that politics should take priority over public health. The WHA's exclusion of Taiwan is against human rights values.
According to a report by Japanese media outlet Sankei Shimbun, Azar is discussing with Taiwan about setting up a new organization to replace the WHO. However, both Taiwan's Presidential Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have rejected the report. Azar is set to sign an MOU on U.S.-Taiwan collaboration with Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, he is also scheduled to give an important speech on Tuesday and visit Taiwan's mask factories.