The panic over the coronavirus has sent the United States for a loop. There is a growing need for essential supplies, especially for hospitals and first responders. But there is the danger that some people will try to profit illegally during this situation. So, AG Barr announced swift action against anyone who tries to make this outbreak worse.
The coronavirus outbreak has, in many cases, revealed the best in the American people. Despite this trial, Americans from all backgrounds are sacrificing their time and giving of themselves for those in need. Companies are converting factories to produce life-saving equipment and supplies. Everyday Americans are working around the clock to help strangers. It is truly remarkable to see.
But this crisis has also brought out the very worst in some people. Out of fear, some Americans have gone on hoard-shopping sprees. Our local grocery stores face shortages, because your selfish and panicky neighbors cleared out the shelves. Instead of thinking about others (or that this crisis won’t last as long as they think), some Americans have bought enormous amounts of toilet paper, sanitizer, and food, leaving little for the rest of us.
Worse than that are the few who hoarded crucial supplies just before the full crisis hit. These people had planned to sell back their stock of such things as hand sanitizer and face maskers—items that could help protect medical workers. Of course, they planned on selling them at an insanely high markup. That’s what we call price-gouging.
So, the Attorney General said these people would face a steep price.
The Trump administration on Monday vowed to go after price gougers and those who hoard crucial medical supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic that has seen store shelves emptied and the cost of basic necessities skyrocket in some areas…
In an effort to address coronavirus-related scams, federal prosecutors recently shut down a website that sold a fake coronavirus vaccine, he said…
“Once specific materials are so designated, persons are prohibited from accumulating those items in excess of reasonable personal or business needs or for the purpose of selling them in excess of prevailing market prices,” Barr said. [Source: Fox News]
A crisis like this requires all Americans to do their best and help each other out. But there are always wolves among the sheep, people who aren’t so concerned for the well-being of others. In a few cases, people will try to hoard large amounts of crucial supplies, in the hopes of forcing the government, hospitals, or regular folks to buy them.
We know of a couple who hoarded over 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, hoping to make bank over it. But after intense pressure from the online community and the government, they were forced to donate it all.
Those unwilling to do the same will face federal prosecution from the highest authorities in the land.
Barr specifically called out any large operation that is “sitting on a warehouse” of specific goods, including masks and surgical masks. So far, there hasn’t been much word that there are those hoarding such things. But, let’s be honest. If there is a crooked buck to make, some people will try to make it. Barr is spreading the word before anyone gets it in their head to gouge those in need.
It’s hard to imagine anyone actually trying to do such an underhanded thing. But we see how crooked lawmakers in Washington are exploiting this crisis. Why wouldn’t a crooked businessperson do the same?
But if they do, they will face the wrath of William Barr. I, for one, would rather just donate my stockpile.