While corporate America is stepping in to address the coronavirus crisis, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban on Monday called out 3M for their handling of the shortage of ventilator masks that led to price gouging.
“They’ve been silent. Every single health care provider and all of America has really been stressed because all we’ve been hearing about is the shortage of surgical masks yet so many people including me, including you, including the feds — they’re getting offers of millions and millions of surgical masks at these crazy prices,” Cuban told “Fox & Friends.”
The Dallas Mavericks owner said that amid the protective mask shortage, 3M has not “discussed how the supply chain works, the issues, and how to create a solution.”
“They were dead silent,” Cuban said.
After doing research, Cuban said that while 3M vowed that they will make as many ventilator masks as they could, he discovered that they only sold them through “licensed distributors.”
Cuban said he also discovered that 3M imposed “onerous credit requirements” on the purchase of their ventilator masks, leading to a “free for all” and “first come first serve” among companies who wanted to resell the masks.
Cuban went on to say, “And then those people who were reselling them were then price gouging. We’ve gotten to a point now where I think, [New York] Governor [Andrew] Cuomo was saying they were paying $7 a mask rather than the 85 cents a mask they were paying prior to this. Somebody is price gouging in a national emergency — that’s criminal.”
GM, Ventec Life Systems and StopTheSpread.org, coordinated private-sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating so that Ventec can increase its production of respiratory care products as hospitals across the U.S. face a potential ventilator shortage.
3M has doubled its production of N95 respirator masks since the coronavirus outbreak to a rate of nearly 100 million a month, Street Insider reported.
Cuban said that 3M has not been a “good corporate citizen.”
“I’m not going to put it all on 3M but they should have stepped up and done something right off the back.”
Fox Business’ Audrey Conklin and Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and Charles Creitz contributed to this report.