Samsung heir apologizes in public for MERS spread

June 22, 2015

Lee Jay-yong, vice president of Samsung Electronics Co., bows in apology during a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Seoul on June 23, 2015, to offer a public apology over a massive outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at a group hospital. Lee, the group’s heir apparent, also vowed to take all measures to support government efforts to bring the disease under control at the earliest date possible. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The heir of the Samsung business group has made a deep bow in apology as criticism mounts on a Samsung hospital for its role in spreading the Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Lee Jae-yong, 47, apologized to the MERS victims and patients Tuesday in his first public speech since taking over the Samsung Foundation last month. He succeeded his ailing father in leading the charity foundation that owns Samsung Medical Center.

Out of 175 MERS patients in South Korea, 85 were patients, relatives, or staff at the Samsung hospital or its visitors.

As South Korea tried to contain the spread of the disease that killed 27, there were growing calls to investigate why authorities didn’t act early on Samsung Medical Center after a patient there was confirmed to have the MERS.