Federal authorities are distributing masks and other equipment to New York and New Jersey medical personnel after it was confiscated during a price-gouging and hoarding investigation.
According to The Hill:
Hoarded personal protective equipment seized by the FBI in a price-gouging investigation will be distributed to New York and New Jersey health care workers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday.
The equipment, including about 192,000 N95 respirator masks, was discovered Monday as part of an investigation by the Department of Justice’s COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task force.
HHS said it will pay the owner of the hoarded equipment the “fair market value” for the supplies, based on prices before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. HHS said it used its authority under the Defense Production Act to order the supplies to be turned over to the government.
In addition to N95 masks, authorities seized 598,000 medical grade gloves, 130,000 surgical masks, as well as procedure masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, bottles of hand sanitizer and bottles of spray disinfectant.
Authorities have stated that this was the first of many investigations currently being conducted.