While coronavirus has killed more than 38,000 people and leaders around the world are still struggling to contain the virus outbreak, a man in Brooklyn was arrested for coughing on FBI agents and stockpiling medical supplies. According to international media reports, Baruch Feldheim,43, is allegedly accused of both assaulting and falsely claiming that he worked for a company that buys and sells Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Feldheim reportedly was hoarding large quantities of N95 medical face masks.
As per reports, the FBI agents were watching the 43-year-old’s home and found that people were leaving with what appeared to be medical supplies. The prosecutors reportedly said that he was found selling doctors and nurses with as much as a 700 per cent mark up on the original price. When he was confronted by the agents, he told them that he had coronavirus and when the agents were within four to five feet of him, he allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth.
In an attempt to justify his possession of the medical equipment, he then falsely claimed that he works with a PPE company. As per reports, the agents became aware of Feldheim’s actions when he directed a doctor to an auto repair shop in New Jersey, to pick up an order of medical equipment. The doctor then reported the 43-year-old to the authorities for holding enough supplies to outfit an entire hospital. If found guilty, Feldheim will face a maximum penalty of one year in prison and also a $100,000 fine. He could also be fined another $250,000 for false statements.
Meanwhile, the USA which has overtaken China in the number of positive cases has emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic with more than 164,000 cases and nearly 3,173 deaths. New York which has witnessed the highest number of cases has been grappling with insufficiency of ventilators. Governor Andrew Cuomo had publicly appealed the US government to provide 30,000-40,000 ventilators, which was rubbished by Trump saying "You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”. Trump has often downplayed coronavirus's effects - terming it a 'Chinese virus’.
Meanwhile, coronavirus, which originated in China in December 2019, has now claimed over 38,000 lives worldwide as of March 31. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 199 countries and has infected more than 801,117 people. Out of the total infections, 172,319 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries including Spain, and the economy is struggling.