TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two top U.S. senators on the Subcommittee on East Asia on Wednesday (June 9) called on the Biden administration to expedite the shipment of 750,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan and provide doses for its military.
On Wednesday, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chair of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), ranking member of the committee, issued a statement announcing that the committee will explore ways to boost U.S.-Taiwan ties and strengthen its defenses. The hearing, titled "Strength Through Partnership: Building the U.S.-Taiwan Relationship,” is slated for June 17.
The senators pointed out that "At a time of our greatest need during the pandemic," Taiwan had provided personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers in the U.S. as well as other countries. Therefore, the senators urged the U.S. to reciprocate by aiding Taiwan as it deals with a sudden surge in coronavirus cases.
They then called on the Biden administration to "expedite its commitment to supply 750,000 vaccines to Taiwan" and "stand ready to field additional requests from Taipei." They added that doses should also be allotted for use by "the Taiwanese Armed Forces."
During a visit by three American senators to the country on Sunday (June 6), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced that the U.S. would donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan. However, she did not state what brand they would be or when they would be delivered.