NATIONAL

Jung Eun-kyeong among Time’s 100 most influential people of 2020

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Sept 23, 2020 - 17:29
  • Updated : Sept 23, 2020 - 17:29

Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, speaks during a news briefing at the agency's headquarters in Osong, South Chungcheong Province. (KDCA)
Jung Eun-kyeong, the director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, is one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020.

“I will do my best to combat COVID-19,” Jung said in a brief message to reporters Wednesday upon making the US-based magazine’s annual list.

She shares the spotlight with several prominent figures who played a key role in handling the pandemic, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Jung “has led the nation’s antivirus efforts to success by candidly interacting with the public, based on the principles of openness, transparency and democracy,” wrote South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Time, honoring her inclusion.

“When the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Korea, (Jung) stood before the people,” he said. “The public, in return, has exhibited the power of solidarity and cooperation.”

Quoting the Albert Camus novel “The Plague,” Moon continued, saying, “Jung’s decency and dedication are indeed a story worth telling -- one that will serve as an inspiration” as the world fights COVID-19.

In a press release, the presidential office said Wednesday that Jung’s nomination was “a testament to global recognition of Korea’s coronavirus success.”

Jung, who is the first female chief of the national health agency, was appointed to the post in July 2017.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)