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GOP lawmakers propose renaming street in front of Chinese embassy after Wuhan whistleblower doctor

GOP lawmakers propose renaming street in front of Chinese embassy after Wuhan whistleblower doctor
© Greg Nash

A group of Republican lawmakers has proposed to rename the street in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., after the Wuhan-based whistleblower doctor who warned about the coronavirus outbreak.

The group, led by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyMcCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Steve King defends past comments on white supremacy, blasts NYT and GOP leaders in fiery floor speech GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE (R-Wyo.) in the House and four Republican senators, called for the road to be renamed “Li Wenliang Plaza” after the late doctor, who was threatened by the Chinese government when he tried to raise alarm about the virus. 

Cheney said in a statement that she was “honored” to introduce the House legislation that 14 other GOP members co-sponsored.

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“May this serve as a constant reminder to the world and to the Chinese Government that truth and freedom will prevail, that we will not forget the bravery of Dr. Li, and that the Chinese Communist Party will be held accountable for the devastating impact of their lies,” she said.

Cheney’s co-sponsors include Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Rep. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawChanging suburbs threaten GOP hold on Texas Biden, Democrats see late opportunity in Texas Dan Crenshaw releases Hollywood-type action movie trailer MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherFederal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats Government watchdog recommends creation of White House cyber director position Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE (R-Wis.). 

The Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans MORE (R-Ark.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseGOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Sweden bans use of Huawei, ZTE equipment in new 5G networks MORE (R-Neb.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? MORE (R-Fla.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Twitter CEO next week Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse MORE (R-Tenn.). Cotton said in a statement that renaming the street will help the world to remember Li, who warned about the virus before it caused the pandemic. 

“The Chinese Communist Party wants the world to forget Dr. Li Wenliang, who tried to warn his colleagues about the Wuhan virus and later succumbed to that very disease,” he said. “We can ensure his name is never forgotten by placing it permanently outside the embassy of the regime responsible for his persecution and death.”

Li died from COVID-19 in early 2020 as the virus began to wreak havoc in China. 

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The doctor was one of eight health professionals in Wuhan who attempted to warn about the virus in December. The Chinese government responded by detaining the doctor for spreading “rumors” and he was released after signing a document saying he had spread falsehoods. 

China later exonerated and apologized to Li’s family in late March after the virus had spread worldwide, and announced the government would investigate his death.

As of Thursday afternoon, the coronavirus has infected at least 3.8 million people, killing at least 267,469, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.