Dr. Li Wenliang Was Screwed Over For Warning China About COVID-19
When COVID-19 surfaced, it exposed how all the adults in the room -- from big businesses to entire governments -- were laughable unprepared for a possible pandemic that they were all warned (numerous times!) was likely coming. We'd hold up the survivalist movement as an example of people who were ready for this shit, but those folks are now camped outside city hall, whining about how closing Dave & Buster's means the virus wins.
The thing is, though, things could always be a lot, lot worse -- and it's (arguably) thanks to Dr. Li Weliang that they're not.
Dr. Li was an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, China, and one of the first people to openly raise the alarm about the virus, all the way back in December 2019 -- after he stumbled across a concerning report about a patient who was being treated at his hospital for "SARS coronavirus." Several days later, Dr. Li took to the country's popular messaging app, WeChat, and posted a message to a group of his old medical school classmates, warning them about the potential for a pandemic, and also to start taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from whatever nightmare was about to break out.
A member of this group took a screenshot of Li's post and soon it was going viral on forums and social media networks (including WeChat) across the country, where it was read by thousands upon thousands of people. Before Dr. Li could even think of plugging his SoundCloud, however, he was summoned by the ominously-named Wuhan Public Security Bureau over his posts and issued a citation for "making false comments on the internet." Which appeared to dissuade other healthcare professionals from leaking information and possibly clear the way for Chinese authorities to allegedly downplay the extent of the virus, just as they were accused of doing with SARS in 2002 and H1N1 swine flu in 2009.
After his unpleasant brush with the law, Dr. Li returned to work in his hospital's ophthalmology department, where he came into contact with a glaucoma patient suffering from a nasty side-case of the virus. Within days, Dr. Li was diagnosed with COVID-19 and, by February 7, was dead after suffering massive respiratory failure.
Li WenliangStay the hell indoors, kids.