Dr. Li Wenliang has died. Li was among eight physicians punished by Wuhan police for discussing the emergence of a SARS-like virus on social media in December.
- This story is about the doctor whose warnings on the emergence of the deadly coronavirus were suppressed by Chinese state media.
- For news on presumed Trump whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, click here.
Whistleblower doctor dies, China launches probe
Feb 7, 2020
CBS News – China announced Friday that it would conduct an investigation after the death of a whistleblower doctor sparked grief and anger online over the government’s handling of the coronavirus emergency.
Authorities said a team would go to Wuhan, where he died, to “conduct a comprehensive investigation into issues involving Dr. Li Wenliang reported by the masses.”
Li, 34, died early Friday, Wuhan Central Hospital said in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.
China’s supreme court criticized Wuhan police last month for punishing early “rumor mongers,” saying the outbreak might not have become so serious “if the public had believed these ‘rumors’ at the time.” — Agence France Presse
Coronavirus has now sickened more than 28,000 people, killing more than 560. Due to international travel, the disease spread to many locations worldwide including the U.S. states of AZ, CA, IL, MA, WA, and WI.
Wuhan hospital announces death of whistleblower doctor
Feb 6-7, 2020
Beijing (CNN) – Li Wenliang, 34, the Chinese whistleblower doctor who warned the public of a potential “SARS-like” disease in December 2019, has died, according to Wuhan Central Hospital.
The confirmation follows a series of conflicting statements about his condition from the hospital and Chinese state media outlets.
Li died of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan in early Friday.
The latest hospital statement read:
“Our hospital’s ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected with coronavirus during his work in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. He died at 2:58 am on Feb 7 [local time] after attempts to resuscitate [him] were unsuccessful.”
Li was among a number of supposed “rumormongers” detained in December for spreading news about the virus.
He had warned about a potential “SARS-like” virus spreading in Wuhan. Nothing Li said was incorrect, but it came as officials in the city were downplaying the severity of the outbreak and its risk to the public.
There were more apparent efforts to control the narrative even after Li’s death — leading to widespread anger.
Earlier on Thursday night, several state media outlets had reported Li’s death, following which Chinese social media erupted in mourning. Hours of confusion followed, with Wuhan Central Hospital releasing a statement saying Li was still alive and in critical condition, adding that they were “making attempts to resuscitate him.”
State media subsequently deleted their previous tweets, only for the hospital to then confirm his death.
Li had raised the alarm about the virus that ultimately took his life.
In December, he posted in his medical school alumni group on the Chinese messaging app WeChat that seven patients from a local seafood market had been diagnosed with a SARS-like illness and were quarantined in his hospital in Wuhan.
Soon after he posted the message, Li was accused of rumor-mongering by the Wuhan police.
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 more than 28,000 people and killed more than 560. He later contracted the virus himself.
Li was hospitalized on January 12 and tested positive for the coronavirus on February 1 … Read more.