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Doctor Who Was Censored For Warning About Coronavirus Dies Of The Disease

Although the world at large has good reason to be concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, its effects have been particularly catastrophic in China.

As CNN reported, there are now 28,275 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide, but over 28,000 of them are in China alone.

Tragically, this also means that China is where coronavirus has seen its most lethal consequences as 563 people have died from the disease there. For reference, exactly two coronavirus-related deaths have occurred thus far outside of China with one case having developed in Hong Kong and the other in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, among those 563 Chinese fatalities is the doctor who revealed the existence of coronavirus in the first place. And to honor his memory, we have to understand what he faced to make that information known.

Li Wenliang was a 34-year-old doctor working at a Wuhan hospital when he became aware of coronavirus in December.

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As CNN reported, he alerted the alumni of his medical school via China's WeChat app of an illness with SARS-like symptoms that left seven patients from a Wuhan seafood market quarantined at his hospital.

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The message was intended to warn his colleagues to be prepared for the disease and to wear protective clothing at work.

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Despite these intentions, however, The Guardian reported he found himself targeted by police four days later for "making false comments" and disrupting the social order.

He was also told that he would be "brought to justice" if he made any further public statements about coronavirus.

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Out of fear of being detained, Li signed a statement in which he recognized that he committed a misdemeanor and promised to do as directed.

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As he told CNN, "My family would worry sick about me, if I lose my freedom for a few days."

Li has a child and was expecting a second by this summer.

As The Guardian reported, he was one of eight to experience this police crackdown that has since been criticized by China's equivalent of the Supreme Court.

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Sadly, it wasn't long after his arrest that Li fell ill himself after operating on a woman with glaucoma whom he wasn't aware had the virus.

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As The Guardian reported, he would be hospitalized by January 12 and his parents would also contract the disease.

Around this time, the Chinese government had insisted that there had been no new cases for a week.

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On February 6, Li succumbed to the illness and passed away.

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As CNN reported, Li conducted interviews from his hospital bed via WeChat as he was too ill to speak over the phone.

As he said, "If the officials had disclosed information about the epidemic earlier, I think it would have been a lot better. There should be more openness and transparency."

h/t: CNN, The Guardian

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