On February 7, the internet realm was jammed with news of the death of the Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, and the whole network was filled with a strong feeling of sadness. There were rumors late last night that Li died of his illness, but some people said he was still under treatment. All kinds of news made hundreds of millions of netizens worried and confused.

Until the early hours of February 7, Li Wenliang’s hospital (Wuhan Central Hospital) released this message on its official micro-blog: “Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in our hospital, in the fight against the new coronavirus infection, was unfortunately infected. After all efforts were made to rescue him, he died on February 7, at 2:58 a.m. We are deeply sorry and mourn for him.”

On the internet, people mourned for and remembered him in many ways, especially because Li Wenliang was one of the earliest discoverers of the pneumonia outbreak, and thus became one of the original eight “rumor mongers.”

On December 30, 2019, after hearing colleagues saying that the hospital’s emergency department had quarantined seven SARS patients from Wuhan South China Seafood Market, Li Wenliang posted the news for the first time in a social media group of more than 150 college alumni and explained: “To define it as SARS is not very accurate. It should be a kind of coronavirus and the specific categorization is yet to be confirmed.” He warned the group to watch out for prevention, but also particularly stressed on not spreading the news yet.

Despite his group warning, a WeChat screenshot of “7 confirmed SARS patients from South China Seafood Market” was eventually circulated and had a large number of retweets online. Ultimately, it ...

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