The Department of Justice and HHS seized and distributed nearly a million medical supplies hoarded by price gougers, the departments announced April 2.
The DOJ has established a Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force, which on March 30 discovered about 192,000 N95 respirator masks; 598,000 medical grade gloves; and 130,000 other critical supplies being hoarded.
HHS used its authority under the Defense Production Act to confiscate the supplies. Within days, they were inspected and distributed to medical professionals treating COVID-19 patients in New York and New Jersey.
HHS will reimburse the owner of the supplies at pre-pandemic fair market value.
"If you are amassing critical medical equipment for the purpose of selling it at exorbitant prices, you can expect a knock at your door," U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a press release. "The Department of Justice's COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force is working tirelessly around the clock with all our law enforcement partners to ensure that bad actors cannot illicitly profit from the COVID-19 pandemic facing our nation."