Coronavirus: Learning From Taiwan. Samson Ellis

Everybody is asking, how did the U.S. and most other nations get the coronavirus pandemic so wrong? Taiwan was a rare exception. Health officials and the democratic government of this island state sprang into action in the final days of 2019, and tried to warn the world of COVID danger.

Despite being just 80 miles from the coast of China and with a huge amount of travel back and forth to the mainland, Taiwan was remarkably well prepared. The outbreak was kept to a minimum

"Taiwan knows that it is on its own," says our guest, Samson Ellis, Taipei Bureau Chief at Bloomberg News. "It does not have the backup of the World Health Organization or the World Bank... and that's why Taiwan backs itself up and is very cautious when it comes to issues like this."

This episode looks at how technology, contract tracing, advance planning, and buy in by citizens all contributed to Taiwan's success. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, and a bizarre controversy over the agency's leader is also discussed.

Recommendation: Jim is reading the 1971 Annie Dillard Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.


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