Many people were outraged at the recent death of Dr. Li Wenliang (李文亮). He was the doctor that tried to warn others about the coronavirus, but eventually lost his life.
Li was the first medical professional to sound the alarm on the Wuhan virus back in December. His warning about a SARS-like illness was not only ignored, but he was reprimanded by the government for “spreading rumours and false statements”.
A few days after he texted his medical school alumni group on WeChat, the Public Security Bureau made him sign a “reprimand” letter. Dr. Li was then accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”. He was also made an example of what happens when one does not comply with official demands for secrecy.
The doctor was only 34 years old and is expecting his first child later in June this year. Although Beijing authorities are now expressing sorrow over his death, the government was also aggressively scrubbing online posts that called for freedom of speech. Standing in unison with them is Zhang Ziyi (章子怡).
The award-winning actress took to social media this week to voice her concerns. “The doctor who was the first to issue a warning about the virus is now gone! How many lives did that shameful exhortation cause?! He is only 34 years old. He has an unborn baby! This is heartbreaking,” the 41-year-old Chinese star wrote.