earing blue scrubs and a face mask, China’s premier, Li Keqiang, has arrived in Wuhan to oversee efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak and give encouragement to medical staff.
As China’s second-in-command, Li is the most senior Chinese official to visit the epicenter of the deadly virus since the outbreak began. His visit would technically mean a two-week quarantine should he next try to go to Shanghai.
Li has been put at the head of the central government’s coronavirus task force. He was sent out to the frontlines to “investigate and guide” the situation while keeping spirits up. Certainly, competent leadership would be nice.
Various videos have been uploaded online of Li rallying the medics and helpers:
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 27, 2020
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang personally visited Wuhan to guide the work of disease and epidemic prevention. 中国，加油!武汉，加油！ pic.twitter.com/ZIkBdF1Mq2
— 观海听涛🎓 (@Wardancer13) January 27, 2020
— Global Analytica (@AnalyticaGlobal) January 27, 2020
As premier, Li is often sent off to disaster zones, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Wen Jiabao, who forged his reputation by quickly hurrying off to the epicenter of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Though, Li doesn’t exactly have a clean slate when it comes to overseeing important health crises.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Li was the Communist Party boss of Henan province where he was in charge of handling China’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemic, which he did by attempting to cover it up and cracking down on whistleblowers.
So far, the Wuhan virus has killed 81 people and infected more than 2,700 across the country.