WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Attorney General William Barr says anyone trying to profit off the current coronavirus pandemic will face criminal prosecution.
Barr says the Department of Justice has seen evidence of hoarding critical medical supplies and trying to sell them at higher prices.
“It is mostly personal protective gear, surgical masks. It also includes some drugs, sanitizers, ventilators,” said Barr.
This week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to crack down on retailers hiking up prices.
Barr says the order is not aimed at consumers who are stocking up on essential supplies for their own use.
“We are talking about middlemen who come into the market and try to buy this equipment and important material up for the purpose of jacking up the price,” he said.
Barr has ordered every U.S. Attorney’s Office to appoint a lead prosecutor to tackle coronavirus-related price gouging.
LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
- Nurse who came out of retirement to train others dies from COVID-19
- Tampa man still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 5 months after contracting virus
- US tops 13M confirmed coronavirus cases
- Ravens-Steelers moved to Tuesday due to COVID-19 outbreak
- Florida reports 17,344 coronavirus cases Friday after skipping Thanksgiving Day report