Former Taiwan vice president asks CECC head to cut out publicity stunts

Annette Lu says coronavirus task force leader is enjoying his moment in the spotlight too much

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Annette Lu (Facebook photo)

Annette Lu (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said it’s about time the head of Taiwan’s coronavirus task force came down off his pedestal.

Health and Welfare Minister and chief of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has hogged the media spotlight and should step back now that the coronavirus pandemic is under control, China Times quoted Lu as saying.

Lu was apparently referring to the change in Chen's role, from overseeing disease control efforts to constantly pitching Taiwan’s specialty products at daily news briefings and traveling island-wide to promote tourism. Chen, dubbed the "Iron Minister," rose to stardom for his diligent work at the helm of the CECC, which has gained plaudits for the country’s handling of the COVID-19 virus.

Having failed in her presidential bid last year and a vocal critic of the Tsai administration, Lu said there was no room for complacency despite the stellar performance of Taiwan’s coronavirus response. She also questioned what she called a belated attempt to boost the economy with the roll-out of the stimulus vouchers.

Commenting on the path Taiwan should take post-coronavirus, the former politician stressed the country needs to adopt a new mindset that transcends partisan struggles. She also called on the Tsai administration to exercise restraint in cross-strait relations, seeking to reduce animosity with China, and project Taiwan’s positive influence globally, the report said.