Coronavirus: Trump signs order against hoarding, price gouging

US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, at the White House on March 20, 2020, in Washington, DC. (AFP)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday to prevent hoarding and price gouging of supplies needed to fight the deadly coronavirus, a spokeswoman said.

“This sends a strong message - we will not let those hoarding vital supplies & price gougers to harm the health of America in this hour of need,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote on Twitter.

In a related development, the US military is preparing to deploy field hospitals to New York and Seattle, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, as he acknowledged for the first time that the global coronavirus pandemic could impact military readiness.

“Right now I anticipate sending a (field) hospital to Seattle and a hospital to New York City,” Esper told a news conference, adding he had put five expeditionary units on prepare to deploy orders.

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Read the latest updates in our dedicated coroanvirus section.

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