‘Whistleblower’ Who Alerted World To COVID Remembered A Year After His Death
On the death of his anniversary, the world is remembering the COVID whistleblower, Dr. Li Wenliang.
- Dr. Li Wenliang tried to warn the world that a virus similar to SARS was taking over.
- Instead of listening, the Chinese government allegedly reprimanded him for “spreading rumors”.
- Now, the world is paying tribute to Dr. Li Wenliang, the COVID whistleblower and the “hero of China”.
Who was Dr. Li Wenliang?
Dr. Wenliang was an eye doctor who worked in Wuhan, the place where the first case of COVID-19 was detected. The 34-year-old doctor was the first person to speak up about the disease. Trying to alert the world, he attempted to warn other doctors that a disease similar to SARS was spreading. Instead of listening to him, the Chinese government silenced him as they told him to stop “spreading rumors” and “making false comments”. Tragically, Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID on February 7, 2020. His death resulted in grief and anger as people saw him as a “potent symbol of the perils of offering a different narrative from the official Chinese messaging”, France 24 reported.
Dr. Li Wenliang tried to sound the alarm on seeing early COVID-19 infections in Wuhan.
Police summoned him for middle-of-the-night interrogation & under threat of prosecution made him sign a promise not to “publish untrue statements.“
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) February 6, 2021
Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Dr Li Wenliang’s death. He alerted colleagues to a potential SARS outbreak on 30 Dec 2019. This subsequently proved to be a new disease, COVID-19. He died of that same illness a little over a month later on 7 Feb 2020. He was 33. https://t.co/DjHHoYPEEv
— Stefan Marciniak 💙 (@Prof_Marciniak) February 6, 2021
Now, people are paying tribute to Dr. Li Wenliang on the anniversary of his tragic death.
Although China is known for censoring comments and posts concerning the pandemic, Dr. Wenliang’s Twitter-like Weibo page remains a rare space where people can pay tribute. One user wrote: “I thought everyone would have forgotten you after a year. I was wrong, you live forever in the hearts of the Chinese people.” On Twitter, another social media user shared, “Rest In Peace, Dr. Li. I hope that the history books cement your memory, as a true hero under a repressive regime.” Speaking to Reuters, Ji Penghui revealed that he had heard Dr. Wenliang’s warning and that he had rushed to buy masks before the government spoke about the virus:
The public strongly acknowledges him, and personally, I think he should receive more official honours, rather than being treated as what he did is already in the past.