WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to prevent hoarding and price gouging of medical supplies amid coronavirus crisis.
For the first time, the country registered more than 130 deaths from coronavirus in a day.
As of Monday, there were more than 43,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US. The number of deaths crossed 550 as 139 more deaths were reported on Monday night.
Signing the executive order, the president said his government would take strict action against hoarding and excessive pricing of vital medical and personal protective equipment as well as supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizers amid coronavirus outbreak.
“Very simply, we will not allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American citizens for their own profit,” Trump asserted.
The president further added the Department of Justice will aggressively prosecute fraudulent schemes related to the pandemic.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted a photo of Trump earlier signing the executive order alongside Attorney General William Barr and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar in the Oval Office.
President @realDonaldTrump just signed an EO to prevent hoarding & price gouging of supplies needed in our war against the #Coronavirus. This sends a strong message – we will not let those hoarding vital supplies & price gougers to harm the health of America in this hour of need. pic.twitter.com/eksxQOVKNM— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) March 23, 2020