Doctor who tried to warn the world of coronavirus is a hero to mankind
The world should celebrate Li Wenliang as a hero to mankind.
Wenliang recently died of the coronavirus in China, but not before the communist government there silenced this brave, selfless 34-year-old doctor after he tried to warn his fellow countrymen — and all of the world — that a deadly virus was spreading.
In December, Wenliang detected something was wrong … very wrong … because some of his fellow countrymen were getting deathly sick.
So he sent a message to fellow medics warning of a virus he thought looked like Sars — another deadly coronavirus.
But he was told by Chinese police to “stop making false comments” and was investigated for “spreading rumours.”
He was one of several medics targeted by police for trying to blow the whistle on the deadly virus in the early weeks of the outbreak, which has sickened thousands — mostly in China — and is killing hundreds.
It may kill thousands before it is stopped.
On the same day in December that Li messaged his friends, an emergency notice was issued by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission informing the city’s medical institutions that a series of patients from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market had an “unknown pneumonia.”
The notice warned: “Any organizations or individuals are not allowed to release treatment information to the public without authorization.”
In the early hours of Dec. 31, Wuhan’s health authorities held an emergency meeting to discuss the outbreak.
Afterward, Li was summoned by officials at his hospital to explain how he knew about the cases, state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Later that day, the Wuhan authorities announced the outbreak and alerted the World Health Organization.
On Jan. 3, Li was called to a local police station and reprimanded for “spreading rumors online” and “severely disrupting social order” over the message he sent in the chat group.
Li had to sign a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanor” and promising not to commit further “unlawful acts,” the BBC reported
He feared he was going to be detained.
“My family would worry sick about me, if I lose my freedom for a few days,” he said in a text message on WeChat — he was coughing too much and breathing too poorly to speak over the phone.
He was released by police, but returned to work at Wuhan Central Hospital feeling helpless.
He said, “There was nothing I could do. (Everything) has to adhere to the official line.”
On Jan. 10, after unwittingly treating a patient with the Wuhan coronavirus, Li started coughing and developed a fever the next day.
He was hospitalized on Jan. 12.
In the following days, Li’s condition deteriorated so badly that he was admitted to the intensive care unit, and given oxygen support. He later tested positive for coronavirus.
Last Thursday an official for the World Health Organization expressed sadness at news of Li’s death.
“We are very sad to hear the loss of Li Wenliang,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director for the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies program, said when asked about the doctor’s death during a daily coronavirus press briefing in Geneva. “We should celebrate his life and mourn his death along with colleagues.”
“I don’t think he was rumour-mongering. Hasn’t this turned into reality now?” his father, Li Shuying, told the BBC. “My son was wonderful.”
According to Chinese site Pear Video, Dr Li’s wife is due to give birth in June.
Li Wenliang is a hero.