Trump signs executive order to prevent hoarding

March 24, 2020

Mark Schremmer


President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday, March 23, to prevent hoarding of critical medical supplies such as surgical masks as the nation copes with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Under this directive, the secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to designate essential health and medical supplies as scarce,” Trump said during a White House news conference on Monday evening. “So he’ll designate certain supplies and medical elements as scare, and that means it will be a crime to stockpile these items in excessive quantities.

“Very simply, we will not allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American citizens for their own profit.”

Order directed at price gougers

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the executive order focuses on individuals who are hoarding essential supplies with the intent of selling the items at inflated prices.

“I want to stress that we’re not talking about consumers or businesses stockpiling supplies for their own operations,” Barr said. “We’re talking about people hoarding these goods and materials on an industrial scale for the purpose of manipulating the market and ultimately deriving windfall profits.

“If you … have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about. But if you are sitting on a warehouse with surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door.”

Barr said the order directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to designate which essential health and medical supplies are scarce.

Thank you to truckers

Trump’s executive order to prevent hoarding comes as truck drivers have worked to keep essential equipment and supplies stocked.

“Thanks to the hard-working men and women of Federal Express, UPS, the United States Postal Service, and the truckers who are maintaining our supply chains and supply lines,” Trump said. “We thank you very much. Great job.”

Last week, OOIDA sent a letter to President Trump seeking help on a variety of issues facing truck drivers.


Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.