From China Digital Space
Zhāng Wénhóng | 张文宏
Zhang Wenhong (b. 1969) is a leading Chinese infectious disease expert who rose to fame for his outspokenness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zhang was born in Zhejiang Province and studied at Shanghai Medical University. He now serves as the director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Huashan Hospital, a medical institution affiliated with Fudan University in Shanghai. He has lead the effort to combat COVID-19 in Shanghai.
Zhang made headlines at a a press conference in January 2020 where he thanked frontline workers, saying that their sacrifice shall not be taken for granted. One month later, Zhang said in an interview that he did not believe the coronavirus originated from overseas and cautioned against making claims without hard evidence. Zhang was dubbed a “hardcore doctor” (硬核医生) by some netizens for his frankness, who flocked to his social media.
Zhang was targeted by ultra-nationalists in April 2020 when he suggested that parents should swap rice porridge for protein-rich meals in their children’s diet to boost their immune systems. Critics believed that he was being unpatriotic because rice porridge is a popular meal in China.