This video – seen 180 million times in less than 48 hours – shows a Chinese hospital director who has been stripped of her title after refusing to wear a surgical mask when asked a reported 16 times at a police checkpoint.
Viral footage of the verbal altercation shows Chu Minghui standing at the checkpoint where officers are regulating and logging traffic in and out of the city of Xinzheng in Central China’s Henan Province.
Ms Chu, who is deputy director of Xinzheng Third People’s Hospital, was reportedly headed to the facility with her daughter in order to visit a sick family member on the evening of 8th February.
However, when logging her name and number plates at the checkpoint, Ms Chu refused to put on a surgical mask as mandated by a new emergency policy at the height of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
In the video, Ms Chu can be heard repeatedly saying “I’m don’t want to” as officers urge her to follow procedure and wear a mask.
When asked why she will not put on a mask, Ms Chu does not respond and only adds: “I just don’t want to wear one.”
Ms Chu’s refusal to cooperate with the mask mandate appears to leave the officers shocked.
According to reports, she declined the request no fewer than 16 times while ordinary members of the public are asked to wear masks to protect themselves and others as the infected numbers surge.
She is seen getting back into her car and leaving as the video ends.
A statement by the Xinzheng People’s Government on 9th February said Ms Chu had been formally censured and warned by the Communist Party’s Disciplinary Committee over her actions, which it said had a “negative impact on society”.
She has also been dismissed from her role as deputy director of the city’s third hospital.
The novel coronavirus strain has claimed at least 908 lives in mainland China and two others in Hong Kong and the Philippines respectively.
More than 40,000 have been infected worldwide.
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