A New York man being arrested for his involvement in a price-gouging black market ring selling personal protective equipment and N95 respirator masks coughed on federal agents arresting him in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Baruch Feldheim was allegedly overseeing a black market enterprise importing entire warehouses of N95 respirators and selling them at outrageous markups of up to 700% to medical personnel that require them to treat Chinese coronavirus patients.
Prosecutors state that a New Jersey doctor in need of respirators was forced to contact Feldheim in a WhatsApp group chat labeled ‘Virus2020!’ on March 18th. The New York man agreed to sell 1,000 N95 masks and other medical equipment for $12,000– a whopping 700% markup on their standard retail price.
When the doctor met up with Feldheim at an area auto repair shop, he described seeing firsthand a coronavirus medical equipment stash warehouse that contains enough supplies to outfit an entire hospital. FBI agents later recorded Feldheim received a massive shipment of eight pallets of medical facemasks from Canada, and trying to get a nurse seeking to purchase medical equipment to come to his home.
Federal agents questioned Feldheim about the black market mask ring at his home on Sunday, and recount the man intentionally coughing on them. Shockingly, sources recount that the suspected price gouger then told federal agents that he had the coronavirus.
He’s now being charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine.
Another New Jersey primary care physician, Dr. Alexander Salerno, has recounted having to resort to the black market in order to obtain the protective equipment he desperately needs in order to safeguard his own medical staff on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus epidemic. It’s unclear if Salerno purchased equipment from Feldheim’s black market stash.
“We have to go out and we have to go literally to these black market brokers or black market pirates and we are paying like 400 – 800% markups to get the protective barriers so I can fulfill that promise of protecting our staff.”
This is a time to marshal resources behind a collective effort to contain the coronavirus epidemic, not allow black market pirates to gouge the medical supply market.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft Lobbying Trump to Keep H1B Cheap Labor Visa Program
The Masters of the Universe want to import visa workers.
300 of America’s most powerful corporations have signed onto a lobbying effort to pressure the Trump administration not to cut the H1B cheap labor visa program. Silicon Valley megacorporations Facebook and Google have signed onto a letter urging for visas to be maintained, and Microsoft has as well.
The companies claim that their hiring needs reflect the ‘national interest’ and that they need to import hundreds of thousands of foreign college graduates to work for them.
“The undersigned represent employers that rely on a highly skilled, college-educated, science and engineering workforce, including non-immigrant professionals, to innovate, produce, research, develop, and lead.”
The abuse of the H1B visa system to replace American workers with cheaper and more compliant foreign visa workers is both extensive and well documented within the technology industry. The visa structure keeps its recipients dependent on their employer for legal status within the country, creating a form of de facto indentured servitude in which employers have near-complete control over the workers they sponsor for the visas.
The visa system also enables major employers to depress wages within the American workforce, allowing companies to import workers from countries with vastly lower labor and living standards. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering suspending the program on an indefinite basis in the midst of the coronavirus recession to place American workers first again, lining up the nation’s professionals to reap the gains of economic recovery. Leading immigration patriot senators are pushing for the President to place the program on ice.
"it was both surprising and encouraging to see one group that’s severely affected by the importation of foreign labor finally become self-aware and stand up for itself." https://t.co/oFq52VYFSr
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) May 23, 2020
The notion of doubling down on the hiring of new American workers- even as millions of Americans are driven into unemployment through the coronavirus recession- appears simply inconsiderable for the country’s wealthiest and most affluent technology companies. Instead, they appear to prefer a nonstop flow of cheap labor to drive up their comfortable profit margins even further.
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