WPRI 12 Eyewitness News Washington DC Bureau

U.S. lawmakers working to crack down on price gouging during COVID-19 crisis

Washington DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (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,” says Barr.

This week, President 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 says.

Barr has ordered every U.S. Attorney’s Office to appoint a lead prosecutor to tackle coronavirus-related price gouging.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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