Twenty-five years ago, I visited Wuhan to assess the capacity to eradicate, it was at that time another virus, a dangerous virus.
The Wuhan I found was a fair bit smaller than today, but it was a bustling, energetic, lively place filled with wonderful people with a great spirit as it went about trying to eradicate the disease I was working on at the time.
But when Doctor Liang and I arrived in Wuhan two nights ago, it was a very different place. The city of skyscrapers, giant auto routes and a gorgeous hypermodern train station was silent. It was a ghost town.
And behind every window of these skyscrapers we drove past, there were people. There were 15 million people who were staying put in one place for weeks at a time to stop this disease.
And if we spoke with people we were working with in Wuhan, they said, “This is our duty. We have to protect the world from this disease. This is our role. We are playing our role.”
And I just thought it's so important that we recognize that to the people of Wuhan, it is recognized, the world is in your debt. And when this disease finishes, hopefully, we will have a chance to thank the people in Wuhan for the role that they played in it, because many of us, many of the people here have suffered but the people of that city have gone through an extraordinary period.