Corporate Grifters Exploit COVID-19 Pandemic
March 22, 2020

The morons who buy a truckload of hand sanitizer and try to sell it for a huge markup sadly aren't the only grifters trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Big companies are also getting busted for being bad corporate citizens.

In Seattle, Target was caught selling thousands of N95 face masks even though hospitals and other care providers are being forced to reuse the few face masks they have or using homemade ones. Target has apologized and is trying to make up for it, but only after government officials started stepping in and confiscating them:

Target Corp. apologized Saturday for selling face masks in Seattle stores while hospitals face a dire shortage amid a growing coronavirus outbreak.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said his office intervened when it received reports Saturday that the much-needed N95 masks were on Target shelves.

“Those masks are now on their way to the health care workers who desperately need them,” Inslee wrote on Twitter.

Target said on Twitter that the masks were being sold in error in “select Seattle stores” and that it was removing them from shelves and donating them to the Washington Department of Health.

The company said it would also search its inventory for additional masks to donate.

In MIchigan, Menards has been busted for doubling their prices on things like cleaning supplies. This has gained them the attention of the Michigan Attorney General:

Menards is under scrutiny for allegedly raising prices on items related to preventing coronavirus.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sent the big box retailer a cease and desist letter on Tuesday alleging the company improperly raised prices on face masks, bleach and other products.

Nessel said her investigators found Menards is exploiting public fears over COVID-19, which is the illness caused by coronavirus, by doubling the prices on cleaning products and tying purchases to an in-store rebate.

The complaints started last week at the Menards location in South Haven.

"Large corporations must also play by the rules, and my office will work diligently to ensure this state’s consumers are treated fairly and not abused by businesses seeking to unlawfully jack prices up to line their pockets with profits at the expense of the public during this time of great need,” Nessel said.

Unlike Target, Menards hasn't even had the decency to apologize. It may not surprise the gentle reader, but the owner, John Menard, Jr. is a big Republican supporter and isn't afraid of using back channels to make donations in exchange for favors.

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