Chinese journalist, Chen Qiushi, who reported on the novel coronavirus has mysteriously gone missing.
Last week, Li Wenliang, one of the whistleblower doctors of the novel coronavirus tragically passed away from the disease at the age of 34. And with the illness officially on North American soil, the United States lost its first citizen to the plague-esque virus this past Saturday (Feb. 8). Now, at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, one journalist's family is claiming that their family member is missing and possibly being silenced by the Chinese government.
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Chen Qiushi, a local journalist was doing the groundwork and reporting on the deadly virus in the trenches of Wuhan was allegedly forced into a quarantine according to CNN. On Jan. 24, Qiushi arrived in Wuhan, one day after the city was placed under a state-imposed lockdown to prevent citizens from spreading the disease throughout the country. While he was in the city, Qiushi began posting videos of overflowing hospitals and funeral parlors on China's Twitter-like social media app, Weibo.
Chen Qiushi's associates claimed that they feared for his safety for revealing the severity of the coronavirus on such a huge platform and when he stopped responding and answering calls to his cell phone, his friends and family grew increasingly concerned. According to close friends, Chen left his login information with them in case he was taken by authorities. Chen Qiushi's mother took to his account to reveal that he was missing writing:
"I’m here to beg everyone online, especially friends in Wuhan to help find Qiushi, find out what’s going on with him."
According to CNN, both the Wuhan and Qingdao city police have revealed that they have no information about Chen or his whereabouts at the moment. Citizens all around China took to their Weibo accounts demanding that he be released from government confinement immediately if he was intentionally being silenced.
With censorship being a major topic in mainland China, Chen Qiushi took a life-changing risk revealing to people what was really occurring in Wuhan. Hopefully, the journalist is in good health and will be reunited with his friends and family in the near future.