Stores Across U.S. Sell Out of Face Masks, Hand Sanitizer as Coronavirus Spreads

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 26: A family wearing masks stands in Tiananmen Square on January
Betsy Joles/Getty Images

Brooklyn, New York–Stores are running out of personal care products consumers are buying in an attempt to ward off the Wuhan coronavirus.

At least three pharmacies visited by Breitbart News in Brooklyn, N.Y. were sold out of individual-sized hand sanitizer this weekend. A Target store located at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal was also sold out. Target’s website reported none were available for delivery in Brooklyn.

Disposable surgical face masks were also unavailable on Sunday at those stores.

Amazon said that it could deliver hand sanitizer by Wednesday. An Amazon page for ‘flu masks’ showed many of the most popular versions of surgical masks and personal anti-dust masks were unavailable.

The unavailability of these items is likely tied to heightened purchases by consumers due to fears of the Wuhan coronavirus. It is not yet clear how widespread such shortages are. While many Americans are not yet worried about the threat of the Wuhan coronavirus hitting American shores, that is likely a result of overconfidence. Americans would be wise to take measures to protect themselves and their communities from the virus that is crippling China’s economy.

“Everyone was buying those pocket bottles because of the China flu,” an employee at one Brooklyn seller told Breitbart. The employee asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to news media.

Masks and sanitizer shortages are reportedly widespread in Asia, with some sellers significantly increasing prices in reaction to intense demand.

Update: Shortages of face masks have been reported in Chicago. From the Chicago Tribune:

On the eve of Lunar New Year, a time meant for celebration with family and arguably the most important Chinese holiday, many Chinatown residents found themselves instead standing in line to buy bright blue boxes of face masks, seeking to protect themselves from the coronavirus after the first case was confirmed in Chicago.

By early afternoon Friday, the lone Walgreens in Chinatown was sold out. Meanwhile, some events celebrating Lunar New Year were canceled, and restaurant owners in the community complained of waning business.



Screenshot of Amazon page for ‘flu mask.’


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