Executive Yuan Thanks Public-Private Partnership in Procuring BioNTech Vaccines, Stresses Government Did Not Block Procurement Efforts
United Daily News and the Storm Media, July 12, 2021
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) announced that they will each donate 5 million doses of BioNTech vaccines. At a press conference today, Spokesman Lo Ping-cheng of the Executive Yuan thanked the two companies for their contributions in money and efforts to build a cooperative model between the government and the private sector to reach this important development in a short period of half a month. Lo also demanded that untrue rumors by the public that the government has been blocking the procurement of BioNTech vaccines should cease.
The public has been saying that the process of signing the contracts for procuring the BioNTech vaccines has been blocked by the government. Spokesman Lo said that this statement was neither true nor fair. He argued that if the government wanted to block, obstruct, or delay the procurement of BioNTech vaccines, why did Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), allow companies to buy vaccines? If the government did not support the procurement of international vaccines, then why did the government establish a special project to help TSMC and Foxconn to buy 5 million doses of vaccines each?
Spokesman Lo stated that if the government did not want to see the completion of the special project, how could the two complicated contracts be signed in half a month? If the government wanted to delay the process, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Ministry of Health and Welfare, received the documents last night at 9:30 PM, the government could review the documents in two or three days and said that the documents were incomplete and needed supplements, but instead the officials worked overtime to approve and sign the documents in the same night.
Spokesman Lo said that the facts speak louder than arguments. The previous untrue rumors that the government did not want to procure BioNTech vaccines should end today. According to Lo, the government’s stance has been sufficiently proven, and the earlier rumors were untrue and unfair. CDC officials had to meet for the special project daily or every other day, and they worked very late last night. The working team has only one common will, that is, to complete the mission.
Spokesman Lo said that during the difficult time of pandemic, the procuring foreign vaccines faces numerous restrictions. One cannot procure vaccines even with money. The joint efforts by many parties and the cooperation between the government and the private sector have made this procurement possible so that the health of the nationals is protected. From the point of common sense and logic, it is impossible that the government has been blocking the BioNTech vaccines.
President Tsai Ing-wen posted on her Facebook that her top priority for the present time is to continue obtaining more vaccines. She thanked the efforts by all parties to smoothly implement the special project. She also wanted to recognize the Executive Yuan, the CECC, and the legal team of the government that they have helped the donating companies night and day to complete the complicated legal process during the negotiations.
President Tsai indicated that through joint effort between the government and the private sector, this special project for the procurement and the donation has conformed to three principles: vaccines are manufactured at the original factory, labed by the original manufacturer, and delivered directly to Taiwan. These principles safeguard the rights to protect the health and security of the nationals. She stated that the government has begun the procurements of next batches of vaccines. It is expected that the government will purchase 15 million doses of next generation Moderna vaccines in 2022 and 2023 to meet the potential demand. She thanked again TSMC, Foxconn/ Yonglin Foundation, and the government team for their joint efforts.
While there were many likes and shares on President Tsai’s Facebook post, there were also many questions. Some of the questionings are as follows: “Should we thank Empress Tsai for not blocking the procurement?” “You have the audacity to post the statement as if the credits are yours.” “Why do you put yourself in the first place and Foxconn last?” “Why didn’t you purchase the vaccines from Shanghai Fosun Pharma in the beginning and delay until now and through private companies?” “The largest harvesting machine in the world is formally situated in Taiwan now.” “Thanks to Foxconn and TSMC. Thank the government? Don’t even think about it!”