On January 23, 2020, Wuhan announced a “lockdown” of the city because of the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. On the same day, eight major hospitals in Wuhan requested the public donation of face masks and other medical materials. The government also issued a donation request, but stated that it would not accept donations from overseas.
The government donation request was issued in the No. 4 Announcement of the recently established Wuhan Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control Command Center. The announcement stated, “Temporarily do not accept materials not related to epidemic prevention and control, or donations from overseas.”
Sing Tao Daily reported that despite Wuhan’s refusal of overseas help, many Chinese lived overseas and were still donating money and materials and trying to find channels to ship the medical materials to Wuhan.
Radio Free Asia reported that a Chinese netizen commented on the Internet, “The group of doctors is usually the most obedient. Normally, if hospitals run out of materials, they go to the supervising government office or other hospitals for help. If they need to go to the public for donations, the government will handle the request and then distribute the received goods among the hospitals. This time Wuhan hospitals made the announcement on their own. That is, uniformly, a slap in the face for the Wuhan government. It showed that the medical community in Wuhan was totally sad, disappointed, and desperate (because of what the government did), and could no longer tolerate it.”
Radio Free Asia also commented on the Wuhan government’s not accepting overseas donations. It said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not want to lose face. Claiming itself to be “leading the world” and handing out tens of billions of dollars every time it visited Africa, Xi Jinping and the CCP do not want to make themselves look bad by asking for help from other countries.
1. People’s Daily, January 23, 2020
2. Sing Tao Daily, January 24, 2020
3. Radio Free Asia, January 24, 2020