The petition, initiated on Jan. 30 by someone identified only as “C.C.,” had collected more than 120,000 signatures as of 2 p.m. Sunday, Taiwan time.
According to the rules of the government’s “We the People” website, a petition needs to gain at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days to obtain a White House review and response.
On the website, the White House says it usually gives a response within 60 days but it could take longer, depending on the issue and the volume of petitions submitted.
The person who initiated the petition said Taiwan has “high-quality medical technology and abundant medical experiences and has been contributing to medical issues continuously.”
“However, Taiwan has always been precluded from WHO due to China’s opposition and pressure, which made Taiwan unable to access timely information from WHO at SARS outbreak,” the petition said.
Amid the ongoing global outbreak of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV where Taiwan is standing “at the first line of defense,” Taiwan should not be excluded from the WHO due to political reasons for the sake of Taiwan’s 23 million people and global safety, it said.
A number of world powers, including the U.S., Japan, Canada and the European Union, have renewed their support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA as an observer over the past week amid the ongoing 2019-nCoV outbreak.