In this file:
· The Coronavirus Whistleblower Died a Martyr for Free Speech in China
· NYT: Chinese Doctor, Silenced After Warning of Outbreak, Dies From Coronavirus
· Whistleblower of China’s Coronavirus Outbreak Memorialized on the Ethereum Blockchain
The Coronavirus Whistleblower Died a Martyr for Free Speech in China
Dr. Li Wenliang was killed on Thursday by the coronavirus he'd warned against. Now he is quoted all over the Chinese internet: “A healthy society should not have just one voice."
Brendon Hong, The Daily Beast
Feb. 07, 2020
HONG KONG—On Thursday night, Dr. Li Wenliang’s heart stopped. Only 34 years old and normally in good health, Li had become a hero to millions of Chinese for his efforts in December to warn about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. And because of his popularity—aware that his death from the same sickness might spark nationwide acrimony—the physicians overseeing his treatment spent more than three hours trying to resuscitate him.
According to an individual who was in the room and later spoke to a local reporter, one of the doctors trying to keep Li alive ordered the others, “Buy time for the organization [China's leadership] to respond.”
In other words, authorities wouldn’t allow Li to officially die. Even as his body gave out, the Chinese Communist Party manufactured a narrative of gallant attempts to keep him breathing. And they were right to be concerned, because Li is now viewed by the public not only as a victim of the raging epidemic he tried to stop, but as a martyr for free speech.
Under CCP rule, it is common to see people with talent, heart, and backbone ending up as targets. Eventually, they are pulverized, leaving the Party’s voice as the sole source of information dictating what happened. For a moment, Li managed to break that impasse.
In December, Dr. Li was treating a cluster of patients suffering from a virus apparently picked up at a meat and poultry market in Wuhan, a city in central China with a population greater than metropolitan Chicago. Li sent messages to a chat group of medical school alumni wondering if SARS—the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2002 and 2003—had returned.
He was arrested by police and accused of “spreading rumors.” They said to him, “We hope that you will calm down and reflect well, and we solemnly warn you: if you are stubborn and maintain your own view, and show no remorse, and continue to conduct illegal activities, you will be punished according to the law.”
It was all part of a cover-up that has spun out of control and led to the global spread of the deadly virus.
Officially known as 2019-nCoV, it is forcing ever more cities in China to shut down partially or completely and many people, confined to their homes, go online to connect with others. Mainly they used WeChat, the country’s most popular social network. On Thursday night and Friday morning, nearly every post made by private individuals on the platform was about Li.
Government authorities quickly issued censorship instructions to media outlets: “Regarding the death of Doctor Li Wenliang of Wuhan Central Hospital, rigidly adhere to standard sources,” they warned. “It is strictly forbidden for reports to use contributions from self-media, and sites may not use pop-up alerts, comment, or sensationalize. Safely control the temperature of interactive sections, do not set up special topic sections, gradually withdraw the topic from Hot Search lists, and strictly manage harmful information.”
But on Friday the outpouring of grief on WeChat feeds continued. In particular, one verse that poetically exalts self-sacrifice for the greater good is quoted frequently:
Chinese Doctor, Silenced After Warning of Outbreak, Dies From Coronavirus
Dr. Li Wenliang issued a warning about a strange new virus. Then the authorities summoned him for questioning.
By Chris Buckley, The New York Times (NYT)
Feb. 6, 2020
WUHAN, China — He was the doctor who tried to sound a warning that a troubling cluster of viral infections in a Chinese province could grow out of control — and was then summoned for a middle-of-the-night reprimand over his candor.
On Friday, the doctor, Li Wenliang, died after contracting the very illness he had told medical school classmates about in an online chat room, the coronavirus. He joined the more than 600 other Chinese who have died in an outbreak that has now spread across the globe.
Dr. Li “had the misfortune to be infected during the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, and all-out efforts to save him failed,” the Wuhan City Central Hospital said on Weibo, the Chinese social media service. “We express our deep regret and condolences.”
Even before his death, Dr. Li had become a hero to many Chinese after word of his treatment at the hands of the authorities emerged. In early January, he was called in by both medical officials and the police, and forced to sign a statement denouncing his warning as an unfounded and illegal rumor.
Word of his death unleashed an even greater upsurge of emotion.
“We will not forget the doctor who spoke up about an illness that was called rumor,” one commenter posted in reply to the hospital’s announcement. “What else can we do? The only thing is not to forget.”
Dr. Li, who was 34 and expecting a second child with his wife, had been a relatively obscure ophthalmologist in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province and the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.
But in recent weeks, he became a potent icon for Chinese people angry that a viral outbreak had swelled unchecked into a full-blown crisis, and that the doctor who had spoken out was initially punished...
Whistleblower of China’s Coronavirus Outbreak Memorialized on the Ethereum Blockchain
Francisco Memoria, Crypto Globe
7 Feb 2020
Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who first tried to sound the alarm on the dangers of coronavirus, has been memorialized on the Ethereum blockchain shortly after news of his death broke.
An Ethereum user has created a smart contract “monument” in memorial of Dr. Li Wenliang at around 2:30 UTC on Friday, February 7. In Chinese, the monument includes a biography of the doctor who contributed as a medical expert to warning others of the coronavirus’ dangers as early as December 30, and includes a highlighted “R.I.P.”
The smart contract means that the information has been placed on the immutable Ethereum blockchain and can’t be censored. It was created shortly after it was revealed Dr. Li passed away to the disease after having the “misfortune to be infected during the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic.”
Dr. Li was seen as a hero in China because of his efforts to warn others of the virus’ dangers. Shortly after doing so, however, he was called in by medical officials and police, and forced to sign a statement denouncing his warning as “false information,” making it no more than an “illegal rumor.”
When word of his death came out via an announcement published by the Wuhan Central Hospital, many on social media responded and made a hashtag on the topic start trading, getting over 1 billion views so far.
One person commented: