TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the number of cases from the White House coronavirus cluster mushroomed over the weekend, media outlets, analysts, and entertainers on Twitter observed that more of president Donald Trump’s associates have been confirmed with the Wuhan Coronavirus than Taiwan, New Zealand, and Vietnam combined.
On September 26, a now-infamous ceremony was held in the White House Rose Garden to trumpet the nomination of controversial candidate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. As many in attendance did not wear masks or practice social distancing, a cluster infection broke out within days.
On October 1, Trump’s close adviser Hop Hicks tested positive for coronavirus, with Trump and the First Lady testing positive the next day. By October 3, both Newsweek and analyst Nguyen Phuong Linh pointed out that 14 people closely associated with Trump and the Rose Garden event had contracted the disease, surpassing the total for new coronavirus cases that day in Taiwan, New Zealand, and Vietnam.
In fact, Taiwan and Vietnam announced zero new cases of the virus on October 3, while New Zealand announced one new imported case that day and zero local cases. It took Taiwan two weeks, from September 19 to October 3, to accumulate 14 cases, all of which were imported.
Taiwan’s epidemic prevention measures, including face mask regulations, mandatory quarantines for all arrivals, and contact tracing, have been so successful that it has not had a verified local transmission of COVID-19 since April 12, 176 days ago. Vietnam, Thailand, and New Zealand also had long local case-free streaks of 100, 101, and 102 days, respectively, but all three were broken by new outbreaks.
On Sunday, October 4, musician Tom Morello, best known for his membership in the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, also tweeted that Taiwan, New Zealand, and Vietnam had fewer cases than the White House “COMBINED.” His tweet quickly gained 47,000 likes and became the top trending post for the keyword “Taiwan.”