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FAPA English News Release

For immediate release                March 28, 2003

KILLER SARS OUTBREAK SPURS HOUSE MEMBERS TO WRITE TO POWELL URGING HIM TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT "WHO FOR TAIWAN"

On March 28, thirty Members of the Taiwan Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell calling upon him to rally U.S. support behind Taiwan's WHO campaign. The House repeat their request of an earlier letter to Powell of February 2003, in which they ask Powell to instruct the U.S. delegation to the annual WHO summit in Geneva in May 2003, to speak out on the floor of the assembly in favor of Taiwan's observer status in the WHO.

The campaign was initiated by Rep. David Wu (D-OR). Wu states: "This SARS virus outbreak demonstrates to the world the need to admit Taiwan into the WHO. It is to our benefit that Taiwan, a democratic island of 23 million and a frequent international travel destination, is completely integrated with the world's health system."

The letter reads: "Taiwan - along with several nations across the globe - has been struck by a deadly pneumonia virus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). [...] we are deeply disturbed that one of the nations most
affected by this outbreak (i.e., Taiwan) was denied assistance when it requested help from the WHO to diagnose and treat suspected cases of SARS."

It concludes: "In light of the recent SARS crisis, it is apparent that until Taiwan becomes a member of the WHO, the country will be unable to receive
assistance from the world's most preeminent health care body should a health emergency arise. We urge you to instruct the U.S. delegation to Geneva this
coming May to speak out on the floor of the WHO assembly in favor of Taiwan's observer status."

FAPA President Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D. states: "Although the occurrence of this SARS outbreak is extremely sad, we believe that this is again an illustration of the absolute urgency of the WHO to allow Taiwan in as a member. The SARS outbreak and the recurring enterovirus that annually kills scores of young children in Taiwan need to be dealt with."

Wu emphasizes: "This is not political - lives are at stake here!"


 

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