Li Wenliang Dead From Coronavirus

novel coronavirus, image by Gianluca Tomasello

Many people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in China, but Li Wenliang was special. He was the doctor who first noticed the unusual viral strain, and tried to warn others.

Li Wenliang was an ophthalmologist who worked at Wuhan General Hospital who contracted the disease during the initial outbreak in December. He was 34 and in good health prior to catching the coronavirus; he passed away at 2:58 a.m. on February 7th.

Word had quickly spread through the hospital of the severity of the symptoms, and eight people including Li attempted to disseminate that information. Li sent messages about it to his associates from medical school, attempting to give them a warning about the highly communicable disease. In response, Chinese police confronted the all eight whistleblowers and forced them to sign documents admitting they were making false statements.

The subsequent severe outbreak has caused outrage among the populace, and his death triggered calls for an investigation and demands for free speech. Of the two, the investigation seems to be coming.

China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, its top anti-corruption body, said on Friday it would send investigators to Wuhan to probe “issues raised by the people in connection with Dr. Li Wenliang.”

Reuters

Cases of novel coronavirus continue to spread throughout Asia and now the world. Domestically, the official numbers are that 12 people are confirmed to have it in the U.S. with dozens more being tested, and at least another three Americans have contracted it aboard a quarantined Japanese cruise ship.

The United States was slow to announce any quarantine of people entering into the country from the affected area, initially bypassing any such actions and then making it purely voluntary. As of last week, a mandatory 14 day quarantine period for people coming in from Wuhan province – the center of the outbreak – is now in place.

One significant relief people have in dealing with the novel coronavirus is that its transmission throughout the rest of the world is, as yet, fairly limited. Another is that even with its comparatively high fatality rate, most people who contract it do survive.

Unfortunately, both of those notions are being challenged. The spread outside of China has been rapid; for comparison, it has already infected more people in America than SARS did, and in a little over one month has infected and killed more people in China than SARS did throughout its entire 9 month span. It’s been correctly noted that it is still far less fatal than the typical flu in the United States, but a key difference is that it is far more likely to result in death for people who do not have pre-existing health issues and are neither elderly nor extremely young.

And the numbers may be worse than reported.

Due to the official government repression of Dr. Li, there are suspicions about how accurate the Chinese figures on infection might be. Those questions have taken center stage after the official government reporting site repeatedly displayed much higher figures for short bursts of time before being revised downward.

Taiwan News released a story on Wednesday showing numbers of “nationally confirmed cases”, “suspected cases”, “cured” and “deaths” had spiked up for a span of minutes. The numbers were, as follows: 154,023 (revised back later to 14446); 79808 (19544); 269 (351) and 24589 (304).

This was not an isolated glitch; similar spikes upward had happened in recent days, with the temporary numbers tracking on an upward curve. It remains to be seen whether they were due to a simple programming error, or whether the official government suppression which was seen earlier with the statements of the eight whistleblowers is continuing, now with the infection and fatality figures.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.