On March 23, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13910 in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. This order delegated to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the authority under Section 102 of the Defense Production Act to prevent hoarding and price gouging of health and medical supplies.

The next day Attorney General Robert Barr wrote, “Once an item is designated, the statute makes it a crime for any person to accumulate that item either (1) in excess of his or her reasonable needs or (2) for the purpose of selling it in excess of prevailing market prices.”

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