A state of emergency was declared March 7, 2020, in the state of New York. The Coronavirus emergency now effectively tests the provision signed into law by Gov. Cuomo on December 18, 2019, which stated that unsolicited sales calls are prohibited during state-wide emergencies.

It appears New Yorkers have one thing to look forward to during the Coronavirus Emergency – no more spam, scam, fraud, or nuisance calls. However, that brings little comfort as the fears escalate over what is now being called a pandemic by most news sources.

No More Cold Sales Calls During State of Emergency

It seems oddly prophetic that the State law was signed just a few months before an actual state of emergency. Nevertheless, after Gov. Cuomo called a press conference on March 7, we are witnessing the first time this provision is put to the test.

Gov. Cuomo talked about it back in December, saying that sales calls may be annoying during normal days, yet cold calls during emergencies are a danger to public health.

It comes as no surprise – during an emergency, most people receive calls from unknown numbers. Those calls could be from health officials, hospitals, friends, or family. The last thing anyone wants during a time of crisis is to be cold-called by a telemarketing agent.

It seems that’s exactly the reasoning behind the measure.

“On a good day telemarketer calls are a nuisance – during times of emergency they can impede residents’ ability to get the information they need to stay safe […] By signing this measure into law, we will help ensure New Yorkers receive potentially life-saving notifications in real time, creating a safer Empire State for all.”

The focus, as Assemblymember David Buchwald aptly put it, is to maintain “open lines of communication” with the world, and not have people wary of picking up the phone for fear that it’s a spam caller.

Cuomo Takes a Jab at Purell, Amazon, eBay, Facebook

Gov. Cuomo was also extremely critical of companies that engage in price-gouging when it comes to essential supplies during a state of emergency – like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and others. As such, the state of emergency also expedites the procurement of these items and establishes a consumer hotline at 800-697-1220.

Cuomo warned store-owners they will lose their license if they continue the price-gouging practice, citing reports of hand sanitizers costing upwards of $80.

He went on to scold Facebook and eBay and asked the companies to police their sites and remove stores selling medical masks for outrageous prices.

gov cuomo holding nys clean hand sanitizer featured image

At the same time, the Governor announced the introduction of a state-made product, appropriately called the NYS Clean hand sanitizer. He praised it as superior to the already-existing products which are now having their prices inflated.

“To Purell, and Mr. Amazon and Mr. eBay, if you continue the price gouging, we will introduce our product, which is superior to your product. And you don’t even have the floral bouquet, so stop price gouging.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Summing Up

To recap:

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