By: Randall G. Schriver |
Today we stand solemnly with the people of the People’s Republic of China who grieve the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, a lone hero who died while alerting the world of the perils of COVID-19.
Dr. Li was an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, who discovered in a patient’s report a positive result with a high confidence level for SARS coronavirus tests. He dutifully warned his colleagues to take protective measures for a potential SARS outbreak. Despite his efforts to keep his communications close hold, his message caught the attention of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who control, monitor, and surveil the Internet. The CCP’s law enforcement arm, known as the Public Security Bureau (the local arm of the Ministry of Public Security) interrogated Dr. Li, warned him for publishing “untrue statements,” and threatened him with formal prosecution if he continued to discuss these matters. Despite warnings from the security bureau officials, he went back to work and tirelessly cared for patients, until he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and passed away on February 7, 2020.
His bravery and willingness to stand against China’s authoritarian regime and inform the public of the COVID-19 outbreak saved many lives in China, as people took his warnings seriously and wore masks from the early stages of the outbreak.
To this day, the CCP has not openly shared information about COVID-19 to its people or with the world, and it has not issued an apology for silencing Dr. Li. The people of China deserve better from their government and so-called leaders.
Today, we strongly call on the Chinese Communist Party for truth and transparency regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Li who cannot openly grieve the death of their son, brother, and friend under this authoritarian regime.
The Honorable Randall G. Schriver
The Project 2049 Institute