BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said she has seen a decrease in price gouging on critical coronavirus complaints in recent weeks. Healey also said some companies need to do more to protect employees from coronavirus exposure.
Earlier this month, Healey urged residents to report price gouging on items such as hand sanitizer and masks. She told WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller she believes the message got through.
“I think it’s had an effect. Earlier last week we started to see these crazy prices for things people need,” Healey said. “They were scarce. Hand sanitizers, masks. I heard from some of our hospitals that they were getting quotes on medical supplies that were outrageous. In this time it is just wrong to exploit and charge ridiculously high prices for products that are scarce to begin with.”
Healey continues to urge residents to be on the lookout for scams. She has received complaints about a company advertising on Instagram that it had a Vitamin C drip that could help cure coronavirus. Similar scams have claimed to have vaccines, treatments and cures.
“This is all scam stuff. Don’t be fooled right now … don’t be taken advantage of,” said Healey, adding that residents should trust medical information from reliable sources.
Keller @ Large: Maura Healey
Healey said she has been impressed with how Massachusetts residents have stepped up during the coronavirus crisis.
“People all around the state are stepping forward. Especially our healthcare workers who are doing it, risking their lives. The number of healthcare providers infected and who will be infected, that is really moving. So I’ve seen wonderful and beautiful spirit from the people here in this state,” said Healey.
Still, Healey said some companies need to be doing more. Specifically, Healey has been publicly critical of the Boston Bruins for their lack of support for employees, and companies such as Whole Foods and Amazon, who she believes need more safety measures for workers.
“(Amazon) workers need to have protective gear on. They have to have masks and gloves on. Same with Whole Foods,” said Healey, who said sometimes public shaming companies is the only resort to getting action.
“I will continue to call out problems. I continue to encourage the public to report problems to our office so we can take action. We’re going to be in this for a while. My office is open and wants to help people,” said Healey.
Anyone with concerns can call (617) 727-8400. Healey’s office also has a fair labor hotline that can be reached at (617) 727-3567.