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.
SHAME: Democrats Are Blocking Stimulus Legislation That Includes Second $1,200 TrumpBux Check
Democrats in Congress are blocking a bipartisan $1.5 trillion stimulus package that includes a second round of $1,200 TrumpBux payments to Americans.
Leading House Democrats are saying the bill isn’t big enough of a giveaway, but they favor stimulus measures that would divert funds away from the pockets of everyday Americans to institutions. They want to bail out Democrat state and local governments, and are willing to block TrumpBux payments to Americans if they aren’t allowed to.
The House passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus package in May that was shot down by Senate Republicans. The latest $1.4 stimulus legislation has been presented as a compromise, after House Democrats in turn rejected a thin $500 billion stimulus package proposed by Republicans last week. That package did not include a second round of $1,200 payments, and Republicans are now willing to sign off on another TrumpBux payment in order to pass another round of stimulus.
The $1.5 trillion stimulus legislation emerged from the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats who emphasize bipartisanship and common ground. Aside from TrumpBux 2, it features $500 billion for cities and states, unemployment insurance of $600 a week, increased SNAP benefits and rental assistance.
Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are claiming the legislation doesn’t go far enough and that it “leaves too many needs unmet.”
Pelosi and House Democrats are insisting that Congress will remain in session until a second stimulus agreement is met, but in rejecting the Problem Solvers Caucus legislation they’re already shown they’re not open to a generous compromise.
Try asking everyday working Americans of all stripes and walks of life if they’re willing to wait or even go without a second $1,200 stimulus payment in order to provide a bigger bailout to states and cities that already engage in questionable budgetary practices to begin with. The Democrats are resolutely determined to avoid making people the priority in a stimulus package, and will block stimulus legislation to do so.
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