President Trump sent a strong message to those considering price gouging critical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis — don’t even think about it! He’s signed an Executive Order providing the authority to address, if necessary, hoarding that threatens the supply of necessary health and medical resources.
This action will help ensure that hospitals, first-responders, and doctors receive sufficient supplies of critical medical equipment. President Trump is bringing to bear every resource, power, and authority necessary to defeat the coronavirus. Hoarding and price gouging could threaten the supply of critical health and medical resources, such as personal protective equipment and sanitizing and disinfecting products. By limiting access to these critical resources, those who engage in hoarding and price gouging could put both our medical workers and the health of the American people at risk.
Here is an overview of the Executive Order:
- It includes the action of hoarding unnecessary quantities of items for the purpose of selling them above the fair market value.
- This action is authorized under the Defense Production Act, which allows the President to prohibit the hoarding of needed resources.
- To implement the order, the President has delegated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to designate scarce resources or resources the supply of which would be threatened by hoarding.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) will work with HHS to enforce the anti-hoarding provisions of the order in cases where hoarding may be impeding the supply of health and medical resources needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
- Additionally, DOJ is prioritizing the detection, investigation, and prosecution of fraudulent activity and price gouging related to medical resources needed to respond to the coronavirus.
Andrew Mangione is Senior Vice President for AMAC’s advocacy affiliate, AMAC Action. He leads AMAC’s grassroots efforts, represents AMAC’s membership in Washington, D.C., and helps chart the association’s policy course. He also serves as a national spokesperson.