Chicago community gathers to mourn, honor Chinese doctor who gave early warning about coronavirus

CHICAGO (WLS) -- People around the world are remembering a Chinese doctor who got in trouble with authorities for sounding an early warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Li Wenliang, 34, contracted the coronavirus while treating patients and died Friday.

RELATED: Whistleblower doctor who gave early warning about coronavirus has died in China, hospital reports

Wenliang has been both mourned and honored as a hero for trying to save others.

While blowing whistles for the whistleblower, together Chinese Nationals and Chinese Americans gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago Sunday to mourn the loss of the doctor who they say, simply tried to help.

"The doctor was trying to warn people on their small group chat there is a 'SARS' virus spreading and everyone should be careful and they were being silenced because they were spreading rumors," said Jessie Sun Griffith, a mourner.

To date, the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to tens of thousands and killed hundreds around the world.

"It's terrible because my hometown is five hours drive from it, there are people dying, lots of people dying and there's nothing we can do," Griffith said.

Griffith is just one of many in the crowd worried for loved ones in their homeland, and even more concerned over accusations of people like Dr. Li, who are reportedly being silenced by the government.

"The situation is crucial because a lot of us here today we don't know what's going to happen but some of us may never see part of our family ever again and that's hurting," Griffith said.

The mourners are calling for more transparency from their beloved home country. Although, they know it isn't as simple as speaking out, some said they didn't want to show their faces for fear of what possible retaliation may come.
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