On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that a New York man named Baruch Feldheim got a visit from the FBI for allegedly price-gouging doctors and nurses for personal protective equipment — and his response was to cough in their direction and tell them he has coronavirus.
“According to federal prosecutors in New Jersey, Feldheim sold the life-saving equipment at inflated prices to doctors and nurses even after they had been designated as scarce by authorities in Washington,” wrote Tracy Connor. “On March 18, a doctor who connected with Feldheim on a WhatsApp chat group called Virus2020! said he agreed to pay $12,000 for a thousand N95 face masks—a 700 percent markup.” He also reportedly tried to sell surgical gowns.
“When the agents approached Feldheim and identified themselves, he coughed in their direction, and then said he was infected with coronavirus, prosecutors alleged,” wrote Connor. “He denied that he possessed the medical supplies or bought and sold them.”
Feldheim is currently being held on charges of assaulting law enforcement and making false statements. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted.