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 CheneyUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Some in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan Biggs, Massie call on Trump to remove troops from Afghanistan 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 CrenshawThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response Crenshaw takes aim at Duckworth's patriotism, accuses her of supporting the 'destruction of America' What to us is the Fourth of July? MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director House Republican accuses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube of not doing enough to combat Chinese propaganda MORE (R-Wis.). 

The Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonConservative NYT op-ed writer resigns, alleging 'hostile work environment' Larry Hogan's hopes Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones MORE (R-Ark.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads MORE (R-Neb.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioChina sanctions Cruz, Rubio, others over Xinjiang legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K GOP chairman vows to protect whistleblowers following Vindman retirement over 'bullying' MORE (R-Fla.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 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.