Punish the vicious and greedy COVID-19 profiteers
Evil never allows a good crisis to go to waste. So it is with the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.
Already, U.S. Customs agents have seized a shipment of counterfeit COVID-19 test kits, shipped to Los Angeles International Airport from the United Kingdom. Someone decided to make a killing — both financially and literally — on the disease. The culprit(s) were willing to put people in peril in order to reap a few ill-gotten gains.
Let us hope those behind the fake test kits are apprehended and punished. Unfortunately, there will be others eager to capitalize on human misery to make money.
To date, we have heard of no legitimate businesses increasing prices to take advantage of people who, spooked by the coronavirus, no doubt would pay multiples of normal prices in order to obtain certain products. Of course, there are reports of a few individuals offering products such as hand sanitizer at exhorbitant prices — but no dishonesty is involved.
When it does surface, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies should come down hard on it. They should make that stance clear immediately. In addition, state legislatures and Congress should make resources available for such COVID-19-related law enforcement to be undertaken vigorously.
During the next several weeks while we cope with the coronavirus, there will be far, far more stories of selfless acts to help those in need than of criminals capitalizing on need and fear. Keep in mind that, as usual, the astronomical number of good people in America vastly outnumber the microscopically small number of evil characters.
All the more reason to root the vicious few out and punish them harshly.