Daymond John, FUBU co-founder, the founder of the Shark Group, and an investor on Shark Tank, has denied a story in the Miami Herald that claims he tried to make a deal that would have sold 1 million N95 face masks to Florida to help protect healthcare workers from coronavirus for $7 each.
John took to Twitter to refute the claim.
An important message to read in full. pic.twitter.com/qnUiJbgivz
— Daymond John (@TheSharkDaymond) April 22, 2020
“Today’s Miami Herald story and subsequent reports are false, inaccurate and shows a complete reckless disregard for the truth.
“Let me be clear.
“Proper reporting would have shown I did not set any prices and that my team worked with the state of Florida to:
1. Save lives
2. Help vet the overwhelming amount of incoming PPE offerings based on my manufacturing expertise and guide them how to best do this
3. Play a pivotal role to stop price gouging, and successfully identify potential fraud and theft of PPE product to protect taxpayer funds”
“States were not set up to vet and operate global supply chains and sourcing,” John’s statement said. “Many states were forced to blindly wire money to nefarious parties around the world and ultimately never received correct or safe product.
“My company was serving as an intermediary to vet the numerous 3M distributors and to protect Florida taxpayers, while establishing escrow protections that allowed the State to conduct proper due diligence before finalizing its purchase of masks,” he continued.
“Our system did exactly what it was intended to do. No money was spent and every penny of taxpayers money remained safe. We will continue to work with the proper government agencies in this capacity.
“The Miami Herald‘s characterization of my work completely disregards this. Instead, it opts for a gross distortion of the truth in a blind effort to create splashy headlines to mislead readers.”
The Miami Herald initially reported that based on the terms of the purchase agreement, the price of the N95 protective masks would have been $7 each for 1 million masks and that Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, decided the state would “pay any price.”
“This was not somebody off the street, this was Daymond John,’’ Moskowitz is quoted by the Miami Herald. “He came to me and said, ‘I’ve been in the clothing business. I have connections with factories in China.’”
But Moskowitz came out and defended John after the FUBU owner sent out the statement on his Twitter account.
Thank you @TheSharkDaymond for trying to help me save lives. I support the statement below. We will continue to do everything we can to help our doctors and nurses, the hero’s on the front line. https://t.co/GEMjFAqzF9
— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 22, 2020