President Donald Trump on Monday (local time) issued an executive order to prohibit hoarding and price gouging of medical supplies in the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 400 lives in the country.
"The order will prohibit the hoarding of vital medical equipment and supplies, such as hand sanitizers, face masks, and personal protective equipment," Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing.
"We will not allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American citizens for their own profit," he added.
Adding to what Trump said US Attorney General William Barr added that Department of Justice has seen evidence of hoarding and price gouging on medical resources which were authorized under the Defense Production Act.
Commenting on the executive order, Barr said, "I want to stress that we are not talking about consumers stockpiling supplies for their own needs. We are talking about people hoarding goods and materials on an industrial scale for the purpose of manipulating the market and deriving windfall profits."
Talking on the worsening situation in the country due to COVID-19, he said: "Certainly this is going to be bad." "We are trying to make it much much less bad. Obviously the numbers are going to increase with time and then they're going to decrease," he added.
Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham in a tweet had made the announcement through the microblogging site Twitter.
"President @realDonaldTrump just signed an EO to prevent hoarding & price gouging of supplies needed in our war against the #Coronavirus. This sends a strong message - we will not let those hoarding vital supplies & price gougers to harm the health of America in this hour of need," Stephanie Grisham wrote on Twitter.
So far, more than 40,000 people have been tested positive in the US, while over 400 have died because of the lethal virus.
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