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Trump signs executive order to prevent price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies

On Monday President Trump signed an executive order to prevent price gouging and hoarding of critical medical supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak.

During  Monday evening’s briefing, Attorney General William Barr said that there was proof of people hoarding and price gouging amid the pandemic. Barr said the order would prohibit people from buying supplies to make profit off of them. 

Trump is authorized under the Defense Production Act to prohibit hoarding of needed resources by designating them as scarce or threatened by people accumulating excessive amounts, Barr said.

This order will give Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar the authority to designate certain supplies as critical, meaning those found to be hoarding or price gouging such equipment could face criminal action, Barr said.

The DOJ and HHS are currently working to identify what materials are designated as critical.