PHOENIX—U.S. Reps. Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego today urged companies who supply essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to forgo profit on life-saving goods sold to first responders, doctors and nurses who are on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pair sent letters to executives at two suppliers who in recent weeks have raised prices for N95 masks to about 600 percent higher than normal. 

“Over the last few weeks, we have seen the very best of our nation—doctors and nurses putting themselves in harm’s way to help strangers, police officers and firefighters fearlessly taking on new threats to our safety, everyday Americans lending a helping hand to neighbors in need,” Stanton and Gallego wrote.  “At a time when so many are doing so much, it is maddening that some choose to look at those same Good Samaritans as prey.”

Just recently, after pressure from Stanton and Gallego, one of the nation’s largest suppliers to first responders said it would supply N95 and KN95 masks to first responders at no profit to the company.  The two Valley representatives said it’s time for other companies to follow suit.

On April 1, Stanton and Gallego requested that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission investigate what appears to be a price-gouging scheme on the part of PPE manufacturers and suppliers.  They have also urged the House Judiciary Committee, of which Stanton is a member, to hold oversight hearings on the issue. 

At the state level, Gov. Doug Ducey has signed an executive order prohibiting price-gouging.  To date, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich has refused to enforce the order.

The letters are available here and here.