Public anger in China is rising over hospitals struggling to find enough supplies, despite the Red Cross -- and other organizations -- having received millions of dollars in donations.
The Red Cross is the country's biggest charity -- but, unlike in most other countries, the Red Cross in China is government-controlled and receives most of its funding from the state.
"The Red Cross in China is not just the Red Cross -- it's a quasi-government organization," said Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago.
Supply shortage: On February 1, a government official said that the public had donated more than $86 million, and medical supplies to the Wuhan Red Cross, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper.
Despite the donations, doctors and hospital workers describe a desperate situation.
One doctor in Huanggang, Hubei province, told CNN that his hospital has no usable hazmat suits, face masks or shoe covers. And in a video shared by the state-run tabloid Global Times last weekend, a doctor says he waited for over an hour at a Red Cross distribution center, just to get a box of 500 masks.
Official response: In response to anger and accusations, the Hubei Red Cross apologized for its failures and punished three officials for "mishandling donations for the coronavirus."
The Wuhan government dismissed one government official, and warned another two over taking masks from a Red Cross warehouse.
But this isn't the first time China's Red Cross has come under fire during a national crisis, and this time it could be damning -- not only for the organization but also for the government.