Doctor who warns of Coronavirus dies of very disease

Dr. Li Wienlang who was silenced by the Chinese government after warning of Cornoavrus has died

The deadly and quickly spreading Coronavirus disease has been in the news a lot lately. There are currently over 40,000 reported cases of the disease in China with over 900 deaths. Most of these occurred where the disease began in Wuhan and the Hubei province. 

Dr. Li Wenliang was the young Chinese doctor who first tried to warn the people of the Coronavirus. After treating some patients who were showing symptoms similar to SARS in 2002-03, on Dec. 30, 2019, Wenliang participated in a WeChat with colleagues asking if they thought the disease could have returned. He was later arrested by police for “spreading rumors” and told if he continued, he would be punished.  

Not even two months later, on Feb. 6, Dr. Li Wenliang at the age of 34 died of the very disease he had tried warning others about. According to someone who had been in the room at the hospital in Wuhan with Wenliang, doctors tried to resuscitate him for three hours. 

Since his death, many people have taken to the online world to grieve. Despite this, Chinese government officials have been hard at work trying to combat this. According to The Daily Beast, government authorities quickly issued censorship instructions to media outlets: “Regarding the death of Doctor Li Wenliang of Wuhan Central Hospital, rigidly adhere to standard sources,” they warned, “it is strictly forbidden for reports to use contributions from self-media, and sites may not use pop-up alerts, comment or sensationalize. Safely control the temperature of interactive sections, do not set up special topic sections, gradually withdraw the topic from Hot Search lists, and strictly manage harmful information.”

Not only have they censored the media in regarding his death, but they have also labeled Wenliang as things such as a “whistleblower” and have continued to push a narrative that he was in the wrong.

These acts by the government have just led people to be even more upset about his death. The story of Dr. Li Wenliang has really taken over the news cycle and is being reported everywhere. Many wonder if things would have been different if the government had listened to his warnings of the disease and not silenced him.

~Taryn Hannam-Zatz, News Editor~

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