Attorney General Chris Carr is imploring Georgia businesses and consumers to refrain from hoarding masks and other personal protective equipment that are urgently needed in hospitals.
This equipment is critical to protecting front-line health care workers as they treat those who are or may have been infected with the novel coronavirus. The equipment is also essential to prevent health care workers from passing the virus on to other patients in the hospital, many of whom are at high risk due to poor health. The Attorney General’s Office is also warning suppliers and businesses that if they attempt to unlawfully raise prices of necessary medical supply equipment, they may be accountable under Georgia’s Price Gouging Statute.
“I cannot overstate the importance of protecting the health and safety of our health care workers during this crisis,” says Attorney General Carr. “Hoarding and price gouging of crucial personal protective equipment poses a grave threat to the health of us all, and our office will coordinate with local, state and federal officials to see that the violators are brought to justice.”
This week President Trump issued an Executive Order to protect all Americans against hoarding and price gouging, and we will be working with our federal enforcement partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts to monitor this evolving situation. This order includes hoarding unnecessary quantities of items for the purpose of selling them above the fair market value.
To report scams or price gouging, please contact the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by going to consumer.ga.gov or by calling 404-651-8600.
Governor Brian Kemp has also called on all Georgia businesses that are able to help the state provide, produce, distribute, or store critical health care items needed to fight the spread of COVID-19. Businesses able to provide assistance and resources with factories already up and running, or facilities that can be re-purposed for these vital products, are asked to complete an informational form online here.