Coronavirus death of Chinese doctor a wakeup call

The 34-year-old ophthalmologist, who leaves behind a young child and pregnant wife, has become the face of the epidemic, and of Beijing's blunders.

By

Opinion

February 11, 2020 - 10:18 AM

Li Wenliang, 34, sent a warning about seven people with a "mysterious illness" to an online chat. Li told his medical school alumni group that seven patients from a local seafood market had been diagnosed with a SARS-like illness. Photo by (Ling/Ropi via ZUMA Press/TNS)

The death of a young Chinese doctor who was silenced by authorities when he tried to warn about the outbreak of the coronavirus has lit up the country’s social media with outrage.

By Friday, references to the death of whistleblower Li Wenliang from the virus had been viewed 270 million times on Weibo, one of the biggest social media platforms in China. The public is so angry that Chinese censors haven’t yet shut the topic down.

This 34-year-old ophthalmologist from Wuhan, who left behind a young child and pregnant wife, has become the face of the epidemic, and of Beijing’s blunders.

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