The story of the coronavirus whistleblower, Dr. Li Wenliang

He was silenced by Chinese authorities for warning against the coronavirus outbreak, and soon died from the illness. This is the story of Dr. Li Wenliang.

His face has become a symbol for freedom of speech in China.

Dr. Li Wenliang was silenced after sounding the alarm about a strange new virus, the coronavirus. He died of the illness he warned against at just 34. “The Chinese people do not know what is happening and therefore, actually, it's the regime that is allowing this virus to spread around.”, an activist claims. Dr. Li was an ophthalmologist in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak. He and his wife were expecting their second child.

The first warning On December 30, 2019, Dr. Li signed onto his medical school alumni chatroom and posted a warning about an illness going around that resembled Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with people “quarantined in the emergency department”. In the middle of the night, days later, Chinese authorities took him to the police station and forced him to sign a statement saying that his warning was an unfounded rumor, promising that he wouldn’t commit anymore “illegal actions”. Only then was he allowed to return to work.

His diagnosis On January 10, 2020, he treated a woman for glaucoma, without knowing she was infected with the coronavirus. Dr. Li was diagnosed 2 weeks later. He eventually decided to go public about his experience. He criticized the inaction of the Chinese government, continued leaking information about the virus, and was heralded a hero overnight.

On February 6th, confusion surfaced about his death, and people on social media accused the government of delaying the announcement. When Dr. Li was officially declared dead, an online revolt burst out. People vilified the Chinese government for covering up the magnitude of the outbreak and demanded more freedom of speech.

Remembering Dr. Li “I feel very sad. He is such a nice person, but still didn't pull through. Those left do not dare to speak out. Alas, I don't know what to say.”, one Beijing resident shares. Another resident reveals, “We heard the news of his death with heavy hearts, because he gave his life for our ordinary people. We are extremely grateful. We should learn from him.” On February 7th, people commemorated the whistleblower by blowing whistles. Dr. Li is being honored for raising his voice against local authorities accused of downplaying the outbreak.


02/10/2020 9:51 PM
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  • Norma C.
    16 hours

    He gave his life to help others

  • Jo G.
    21 hours

    He should get the POLITZER PRIZE🙏🏽

  • Ann C.
    21 hours

    Saving face equals killing people

  • Olushola O.
    a day


  • DrDipty S.
    a day

    Your effort to inform the whole world will always be remembered and respected... You are a Hero

  • 同亮王
    a day

    It's great loss and big fault of the Wuhan city government. Actually at the beginning nobody knows the seriousness of corona Virus as all the Chinese never met the New Virus in the long history. We have to admit that Chinese government has its own fault even if the Chinese central government is not the first to get Doctor Li's appeals. After getting advice and realizing the serious ness, Chinese central government took sharp measures on shutting off Wuhan city. From unknown corona Virus to know about it, it had to take some time to make the tough decision. It's not delaying time on purpose.

  • Oceana D.
    a day

    be ito p

  • Shane O.
    a day

    We all should have listened to that man from the start when he said on the news no one believe them

  • Kak B.
    a day


  • Southpaw T.
    a day

    The US is right if they say china virus,because of their ignorance and wickedness we 're all at suffering, it's crazy they needed to be blame.

  • Sheila C.
    a day

    This is a very sad outcome....

  • Douglas R.
    a day

    Brave man.

  • Tina O.
    a day

    The Inhuman Atrocities Perpetrated By the Chinese government upon it's own citizens is well known to the World and those in power. Having Enabled Them, We Can't Turn Our Backs Now.

  • Shalindra S.
    a day


  • Frank P.
    a day

    Sound familiar?

  • Edith C.
    a day

    thank you Dr Li, for telling the world you save more lives. you're a hero..may God bless your soul.

  • Nilda A.
    2 days

    Chinese government sacrifice its own people for the sake of world power. True hero will sacrifice his life for the sake of his countrymen RIP Doc. God Bless all the victims..and safety for everyone.

  • Christine W.
    2 days


  • Neo M.
    2 days

    China leaders ...killing all the whistle the blowers...just because they will make more money in making the medicine to cure their disease .u should be ashamed

  • Whipper S.
    2 days

    So is Wuhan really has zero case of covid19 by now or just some kind of government propaganda?