Senate

Senate Democrats call for DOJ crackdown on counterfeit masks

KN95 disposable medical respirator white mask medical equipment on blue background

Senate Democrats are calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to crack down on the sale of counterfeit masks following reports that the faulty ones have been in circulation across the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ, requesting an investigation into the reports and for them to act to deter the fake masks from being sold.

In the letter, the senators point to claims that “retailers where many consumers go to purchase high-quality masks sell counterfeit and fraudulent products; this is especially true of online marketplaces where consumers cannot physically inspect and verify product quality.”

They also asked that the department’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force do more to ensure that the masks do not make it into the mainstream market.

“We urge the DOJ to redouble its efforts to ensure that consumers are not vulnerable to fraudulent masks sold through brick-and-mortar and online retail settings. Americans trying to protect themselves, their families, and their communities should not face potentially life-threatening exploitation by unscrupulous actors,” the senators wrote.

“During this critical time, American consumers need assurances that the products they purchase to protect themselves and their loved ones are safe, effective, and legitimate.”

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus masks coronavirus pandemic counterfeit masks COVID-19 COVID-19 pandemic Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Merrick Garland

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