U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) co-sponsored a bill Thursday to rename the street outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. “Li Wenliang Plaza” to honor the late Dr. Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who warned the world about the coronavirus before the Chinese Communist Party silenced him.
Blackburn is joined in the effort by U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Y), according to a press release from the Tennessee senator’s office.
Blackburn on Friday tweeted, “Dr. Li took great personal risk when he sounded the alarm about COVID-19 in spite of looming threats from the #CCP. Renaming the street outside the Chinese Embassy in his honor will force the #CCP to remember that truth will always prevail.”
Dr. Li took great personal risk when he sounded the alarm about COVID-19 in spite of looming threats from the #CCP. Renaming the street outside the Chinese Embassy in his honor will force the #CCP to remember that truth will always prevail. https://t.co/zoQUpqWUsP
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) May 8, 2020
A copy of the bill is available here.
Blackburn said in a statement, “Even when he contracted the virus, Dr. Li continued his efforts to communicate his experience and what he knew about it. Dr. Li is a hero. In naming this street in his honor, we will show the Chinese government and the world that truth prevails and free speech is paramount to who we are as a nation. The American people are grateful for his sacrifice.”
Li was detained by police in December and told to “stop making false comments,” according to The Tennessee Star.
Another Chinese doctor, Ai Fen, claimed she was silenced by her bosses when she tried to warn about the virus during its early stages. Ai’s whereabouts as of Sunday are currently unknown, according to 60 Minutes Australia, sparking fears that she has been detained.
Li warned doctors in China in December to start wearing protective gear to avoid contracting COVID-19 and ran afoul of the government, the government, the Washington Examiner reported. Li was infected and died in February.
Cotton said, “The Chinese Communist Party wants the world to forget the name Li Wenliang. CCP officials forced the Wuhan-based doctor to retract his early warnings about coronavirus, and government censors scrubbed Chinese social media of his name after his death. We’ll ensure the name Li Wenliang is never forgotten—by placing it permanently outside the embassy of the nation responsible for the deaths Dr. Li tried to prevent.”
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