So much for private property rights.
The federal government has seized 192,000 N95 masks in New York and New Jersey and will redistribute the goods, having arbitrarily determined that these items were being “hoarded” during the coronavirus crisis.
The Department of Justice is working with the Health and Human Services agency to enforce this Soviet-style forced redistribution of private property. This is part of a crackdown by the Department of Justice’s COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force.
Aside from the N95 respirator devices, the feds also seized 598,000 medical grade gloves and 130,000 surgical masks. They additionally confiscated N100 masks, disinfectant towels, procedure masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, bottles of spray disinfectant, surgical gowns and particulate filters from the individuals determined to be hoarding and gouging.
The Trump administration defends infringing on private property rights with the coronavirus pandemic being used as the excuse. They intend to crackdown on others who they deem to be too prepared during the crisis.
“Cracking down on the hoarding of vital supplies allows us to distribute this material to the heroic healthcare workers on the front lines who are most in need,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The seized resources were distributed in days to the doctors, nurses and first responders who need them.”
“This is the first of many such investigations that are underway,” said Peter Navarro, DPA Policy Coordinator and Assistant to the President.
“Our FBI agents and other law enforcement agencies are tracking down every tip and lead they get, and are devoting massive federal resources to this effort. All individuals and companies hoarding any of these critical supplies, or selling them at well above market prices, are hereby warned they should turn them over,” he added.
“If you are amassing critical medical equipment for the purpose of selling it at exorbitant prices, you can expect a knock at your door,” said Attorney General Bill Barr.
The COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force was started earlier this week in order to target citizens who took precautions heading into the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who is prepared for a long-term crisis could be met by jackboots at their doors because of this federal overreach.
“The pandemic continues to cause anxiety and uncertainty across the country. At a time when our country needs to join together, it is repugnant that fraudsters will try to take advantage of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney District of Alaska Bryan Schroder when he announced the formation of the task force.
The legacy of coronavirus may be the death of American civil society, as the Bill of Rights and Constitution become lost vestiges of the past.