When You Break Ground But Are Vilified Instead of Praised

Opthamologist Dr. Li Wenliang

Not long ago I heard a radio interview featuring the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. talk about COVID-19 and how his country was way ahead of everyone in the world in their containment of the virus.

I was initially impressed until the matter of how the doctor, Li Wenliang, was treated by his own countrymen came up.  The press savvy Ambassador, attempted to skirt the issue, but he was up against a seasoned journalist that wouldn't let him forget that President Xi Jinping and the powers that run China castigated the man for alerting the world to the outbreak.  The Ambassador attempted to paint a picture that the state had every right to muzzle the doctor in an effort to prevent pandemonium.  It was only after Wenliang, the ophthalmologist, who broke the news about COVID-19, despite an attempt by a totalitarian regime to shut him up, received the recognition he deserved albeit late and posthumously.  Li Wenliang suffered death at the hands of a virus he alerted the world to in December of 2019 - a full month before most had any idea of the impact the virus might wreak on the health of the planet and its economy.

We can be critical of China but even in America we have an administration that barred Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), from speaking publicly about the novel coronavirus without approval from the White House.  At a time when transparency is essential to garner the trust of our leadership, we instead must deal with the powers that be who have in the past displayed scorn for science and instead opted for what Kelly Ann Conway described best as "Alternate Facts."   Everything is not okay or fine or a matter to be trivialized because of an upcoming election.  Hearing what the experts have to say is what is mandated NOW if we are to have confidence that the issue is being dealt with effectively and efficiently.

Other ground breaking individuals that have made a difference are those who have brought to the public's attention what they perceive as unjust.  A number of courageous women had to put their own safety on the line to bring Harvey Weinstein, a sexual predator with tremendous power and prestige in his industry to justice.  Prior to their coming forward, Weinstein was impervious to consequences for his bad conduct that for years was overlooked or ruled to delicate or injudicious to bring to a court of law.

In the last six months, a number of dedicated patriotic Americans serving in our national security agency or our diplomatic corps found themselves also on the line for testifying about what they saw or heard that made them question whether or not the rule of law was being followed by those in our government.  Their previous service as veterans defending democracy as we know it was ridiculed and many were targeted with threats of violence for appearing before Congress per a subpoena (again per the rule of law).

Let me toast each and everyone of those who broke ground to GO DO GOOD in times when doing nothing would have been much easier  than suffering the vilification they received for being true to themselves and others.


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