US Secretary of Health and Human Services on learnings from Taiwan

Alex Azar, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, speaks to “GMA” about how Taiwan has successfully controlled the pandemic compared to the U.S.
4:28 | 08/11/20

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Transcript for US Secretary of Health and Human Services on learnings from Taiwan
have a choice between online and in-person learning. Thank you. We turn to member of the white house coronavirus task force Alex Azar joining us from Taiwan. Secretary, thank you for being with us. We'll get to the purpose of your visit in a moment. Your reaction to Russia's announcement it has a covid-19 vaccine. Well, the point is not to be first with the vaccine. The point is to have a vieques vaccine that's safe and effective. We need transparent data and has to be phase 3 data that shows a vaccine is safe and effective and that's what president trump is leading with the operation warp speed" initiative with six in development and we believe that we are on track towards having tens of millions of doses by December of fda gold standard vaccine and hundreds of millions of doses as we go into the new year. You say by December but analysts looking at moderna's phase 3 trial says it's not likely we'll even have results until early next year so how do you stand by that time line? We've got two of our six vaccines in phase 3 clinical trials, that's the final stage to prove safety and efficacy and it will really depend on the speed at which the clinical trials enroll and people are vaccinated then exposed to the virus and so we believe, Dr. Fauci believes, that it is very credible that we will have multiple vaccines that will be delivering results and we could have fda authorizingized or approved vaccines by December. All right, secretary Azar, you're visiting Taiwan in Bart to understand how that country has successfully controlled the pandemic. This is a country of 23 million people. They have under 500 cases. The U.S. Is leading in cases and deaths in contrast. What have you learned so far and can we apply that here in this Well, Taiwan has 23 million people. It is an island and Taiwan has taken very effective measures but they're very strong measures so they, for instance, have quarantined all individuals coming into Taiwan, mandatory quarantine periods under force of law with the police checking and inspecting individuals for compliance. They have also used social media and cell phone mandatory gps tracking to identify contacts of those individuals. They've now placed over 200,000 individuals into mandatory police enforced quarantine. Now, there are -- there obviously are contacts that fit social norms that may or may not be applicable in the united States. The important thing is that Taiwan has approached this in a transparent, open, collaborative way in the international system and needs to be highlighted for what they have done for global public health while across the straits of Taiwan, China, the people's republic of China has not been transparent, have not been collaborative and have been at the center of creating this global crisis. In contrast in the united States president trump is pushing for the re-opening of schools so we've begun to see outbreaks already and quarantines at schools that returned to class. How concerned are you that we will see more outbreaks when kids do return to those classrooms? Well, we know that if we practice basics of wearing face coverings, practicing social distance, good personal hygiene and avoiding overcrowded settings where we can't do those things we can bring the outbreaks down and reduce our infection rate, 87% of jurisdictions in the united States now have cases decreasing. Overall our cases are decreasing in the United States from these simple measures. That's something I've seen here in Taiwan is the effectiveness of face cover wearing and compliance of individuals with social distancing. It does make a difference. These steps, if we engage in this good personal behavior which Americans are doing now, those can allow us to be back to work, back to school, back to worship, back to health care if we all act responsibly. There are safe ways to re-engage in our community. All right, secretary Alex Azar, thank you for your time. We appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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