PHOENIX—A national vendor of public safety equipment has agreed to sell N95 and KN95 masks at no profit after Reps. Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego called for a federal investigation into vendors charging first responders for personal protective equipment at rates as high as 600 percent more than just two weeks ago.
Galls, a Lexington, Ky.-based provider, today pledged that the company “will not profit from the sale of these protective masks to our first responders and public safety partners.”
“This is the right decision by Galls, and I hope other companies follow its lead,” said Stanton. “During this pandemic, American companies ought to do what’s right and provide protective equipment to our doctors, nurses and first responders at no profit.”
“I welcome Galls’ commitment to eliminate their profit margins on N95 and other protective masks so that our first responders and health care workers have what they need to stay safe. They did the right thing,” said Gallego. “And I urge other companies that provide masks and other personal protective equipment to states, localities, health systems, and tribes to do the same. Nobody should profit off the suffering of others during this pandemic. We all have an obligation to do what we can to support first responders and health care workers who are risking their lives every day.”
Stanton and Gallego first called attention to the potential price gouging issue in their April 1 letter to Barr and Simons. They revealed that the vendor was attempting to charge the City of Phoenix Fire and Police Departments—which place orders on behalf of 24 public safety agencies throughout Maricopa County—nearly 600 percent more per N-95 mask than standard prices.
Today’s announcement is a step toward holding manufacturers accountable for price gouging. Stanton and Gallego have also urged Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to enforce the Governor’s order to crack down on price gouging. And they’ve asked that the House Judiciary Committee take on the issue as well.
Galls’ statement is available here.