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Opinion
Stephen L. Carter

Sold-Out Coronavirus N95 Face Masks Offer a Lesson in Price Gouging

The best way to make sure supply meets demand is to let sellers charge higher prices.

Winter’s hottest trend.

Winter’s hottest trend.

Photographer: Bloomberg

Now that the government has confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus in the U.S., a lot of people will be rushing out to purchase masks. That would be, specifically, the N95 air filtration mask, the one recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for blocking most airborne viruses.

Oops. Too late.