A man who went viral after stockpiling 17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser donated all of the products Sunday after Tennessee officials announced they would investigate him for price gouging amid the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 160,000 people worldwide.
A local church in Tennessee took two-thirds of the supply of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes from Matt Colvin, an Amazon seller who lives outside Chattanooga, Tenn. The church will distribute the supplies to those who need the products across the state, The New York Times reported.
Officials from the attorney general’s office in Tennessee took the other third of the supply, which they will give to the attorney general’s office in Kentucky, where some of the products were purchased earlier this month, according to the outlet.
Colvin and his brother Noah Colvin purchased thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser and thousands of packs of antibacterial wipes at stores large and small in Kentucky and Tennessee beginning March 1, the day after the first coronavirus death in the United States was announced.
Colvin sold 300 bottles of the hand sanitiser at a markup on Amazon, the Times reported. The company later pulled his items and thousands of other sanitary products, warning sellers that they could be suspended from the site for price gouging.
After the Times’s initial report on the brothers Saturday, thousands of social media users called out Colvin for stockpiling the products Americans are searching for during the coronavirus pandemic. Some contacted Colvin with threatening messages, and his address was posted online. One man began banging on his door Saturday night, the Tennessee man shared with the newspaper.
Colvin apologized for purchasing all of the products Sunday, saying that he did not realize the spread of the coronavirus outbreak or the shortage of sanitary products across the country.
“I’ve been buying and selling things for 10 years now. There’s been hot product after hot product. But the thing is, there’s always another one on the shelf,” Colvin told the Times. “When we did this trip, I had no idea that these stores wouldn’t be able to get replenished.”