Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, joined Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, and 13 other senators April 9 in urging President Donald Trump to act to prevent price gouging, as well as fraudulent and counterfeit supplies, which are hampering efforts to treat patients and combat the spread of COVID-19.
“Every day, profiteers and scam artists are taking advantage of desperate buyers and the unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment by charging obscene prices and selling counterfeit or fraudulent goods,” the senators wrote. “Local and state governments, health care providers, first responders and affected critical industries are scrambling to find new or additional sources of this equipment and, even worse, competing against each other for dwindling supplies.”
“When those buyers, struggling to replace their diminishing stocks, are forced to turn to international suppliers outside their accustomed channels and dubious third-party brokers, Americans are less safe,” the senators continued. “When health care providers pay outrageous, marked-up prices for personal protective equipment, only to discover that they purchased counterfeit items, those providers cannot safely and effectively do their jobs.”
The senators called for the president to develop a comprehensive, efficient and nationwide strategy designed to ensure that quality medical supplies are produced and effectively distributed to areas of critical need. They also urged the president to direct law enforcement and regulatory agencies to swiftly investigative claims of price gouging and counterfeiting.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2VeFs9z.