Fortunato dismayed by report about response to ‘PPE’ gift from Republic of China

Senator wonders why governor didn’t personally meet with Taiwanese envoys


Representatives from the government of Taiwan Friday delivered hundreds of thousands of masks that will be given to medical workers and first responders working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Washington. Sen. Phil Fortunato said what should have been a cause for celebration all the way to Gov. Jay Inslee’s office has instead raised questions about why the ceremonial hand-off of life-saving equipment had to take place away from official state-government premises.

“If what I’m hearing is true, I’m dismayed at how the governor’s office has reacted to this significant gesture of goodwill from someone trying to help the people of Washington,” said Fortunato, R-Auburn. “I’m still trying to get more information, but it appears that the governor’s office may have kowtowed to communist propaganda and pressure to isolate Taiwan to such a degree that he couldn’t even been seen receiving these life-saving materials for our citizens.”

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, has been recognized as an international leader for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the World Health Organization has shut out Taiwan because of long-standing tension with its communist neighbor, the People’s Republic of China.

“I’m glad that two Republican state leaders – Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Sen. Keith Wagoner, who are unafraid to show gratitude for a selfless act made possible by the Taiwanese people – stepped in where Governor Inslee would not,” Fortunato added. “They, like me, do not think it is in our interest to publicly snub friends who honored us with this gift of vital materials, even if that angers an oppressive regime whose own handling of this outbreak is questionable.”