Li Wenliang, 34, was a Wuhan doctor who was widely hailed as a hero after it emerged he was targeted by police for spreading “rumors” about the virus, when he was in fact sharing accurate information to try and raise the alarm.
Speaking to CNN this week from his hospital bed, Li said that he only wanted to remind his university classmates to be careful. At the time he was warning about a SARS-like virus spreading in the city, officials were still downplaying the outbreak and its danger. Today, he is gone.
Wuhan Central Hospital, where Li worked as an ophthalmologist, announced his death in the early hours of Friday morning local time, leading to an outpouring of grief and anger online. This was made worse by initial confusion as state media first published then retracted reports of his death, leading to allegations they were trying to cover it up or control the stop the news from getting out.