Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky to raise public awareness and condemn of the widespreadprice gouging of COVID-19 Coronavirus related supplies.
“While medical professionals and local officials have been advising that the best way to prevent the COVID-19 Coronavirus is general sanitary practices, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the price of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. Both locally and online, sellers are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak and sell products that are hard to find on shelves at exorbitant prices,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Not only are these products grossly overpriced, there is question whether they are authentic and safe. The County is partnering with Federal and State officials to put an end to this unsavory practice. Please report any instances of unfair price increases immediately to the County or the State so we can protect residents from falling victim and overpaying for essential consumer products.”
“We can all agree that any attempt to prey on the vulnerable and profiteer on essential goods, supplies or services during an emergency is flat out wrong,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “I commend County Executive Curran for taking swift action and launching this consumer affairs initiative to combat price-gouging in our community. Long Island families will be better off as a result.”
“Price gouging during a public health crisis, is unconscionable,” New York State Senator Kaminsky said. “The state is cracking down but it would be more helpful if we had a stricter law that sets clearer standards, gives teeth to enforcement and ensures that vendors provide medical products during emergencies at normal cost. I am grateful for the efforts of the Congresswoman and the County Executive and will work from Albany to ensure that federal and state authorities have the tools they need to keep consumers safe and protect them from scams.”
“As families across Long Island take extra precaution to protect themselves from the spread of Coronavirus, they shouldn’t also have to protect their wallets from price gougers,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.“I applaud County Executive Curran for sounding the alarm on this awful practice and directing the county to crack down on bad actors.”
“Be prepared, not scared. Any attempt to take advantage of consumers by artificially raising prices on necessary items will be prosecuted. Consumer products intended to stop the spread of coronavirus must remain affordable and available for all,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo made an emergency disaster declaration on Saturday which, among other things, allows the state to investigate and penalize those price gouging medical and sanitary supplies. To report incidents of price gouging to the New York State Attorney General’s office please call 1-800-697-1220.
Locally, Nassau County will be cracking down on any instances of unfair price increases. County Executive Curran is encouraging residents to report any instance of price gouging they find – whether online or locally – to the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.