Washington Post: ‘No offense, but is this a joke?’ Inside the underground market for face masks.

Washington Post: ‘No offense, but is this a joke?’ Inside the underground market for face masks.. “The international market for desperately needed medical masks is riddled with fraud. Up and down the supply chain, from factories to hospitals, opportunists are benefiting from the chaotic market as prices have quintupled. Rampant price gouging and fraud has provoked dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of cease-and-desist orders, from major mask manufacturers as well as state attorneys general. While profiteers and crooks make their fortunes, medical workers across the United States are rationing masks, recycling them and treating infected patients without them. The federal government has taken steps to address the shortages, but emergency management experts say the efforts were distressingly inadequate. The Trump administration ignored early warnings that it needed to shore up its stockpile of masks and other personal protective equipment and has fallen behind several other Western nations in the race to secure them, documents and interviews show.”