Laurie Garrett: World Can’t Let Racist Attitudes Impact Handling of Coronavirus Outb reak


Democracy Now!

Feb 7, 2020
The Chinese doctor who warned the government about a possible coronavirus outbreak has died after contracting the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital. Thirty-four-year-old ophthalmologist Li Wenliang warned his fellow medical workers about coronavirus on December 30. He was then investigated by police and accused of “making false comments.” His death has sparked a wave of anger and outrage in China, where the hashtag “We want freedom of speech” went viral on Chinese social media site Weibo this week. The death toll from the coronavirus has now topped 630 people in China, with more than 31,000 confirmed cases worldwide. The central Chinese government has ordered officials in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, to round up and quarantine all infected residents. Residents are being ordered to report family members who show symptoms of the virus to authorities. Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett says, “China is doing things that really no other nation on Earth could do” to contain the spread of the virus, including quarantining tens of millions of people. We spoke with Garrett just days before the whistleblower doctor died.

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