News/Events

News ReleasesFilter  

Rutledge Warns Health Care Professionals and Facilities, Including Abortion Providers, Must Immediately Stop All Medically Unnecessary Surgeries

Rutledge Warns Health Care Professionals and Facilities, Including Abortion Providers, Must Immediately Stop All Medically Unnecessary Surgeries

Fri, Apr 10, 2020

Says, ‘Those who violate the Department of Health’s directive will be met with decisive action’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities, including abortion providers, that pursuant the April 3, 2020 Directive on Elective Surgeries issued by the Department of Health, they must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.

“Arkansans must work together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “All medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortions, must be postponed until after this crisis has ended. Those who violate the Department of Health’s directive will be met with decisive action, and my office will forcefully defend the State officials involved in keeping Arkansans safe.”

Last Friday, the Department of Health issued a directive mandating that all surgeries and procedures that can be safely postponed to a further date be postponed while the COVID-19 emergency is ongoing. This prohibition applies throughout the State to all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary, including routine dental and eye visits, as well as most scheduled healthcare procedures such as orthopedic surgeries or any type of abortion that is not immediately medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

The Department of Health, acting within its emergency powers under Governor Hutchinson’s March 11 emergency proclamation, issued this directive to preserve staff, personal protective equipment and patient care supplies to ensure staff and patient safety and to expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Postponing surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary will ensure the availability of hospital beds and personal protective equipment needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The failure of healthcare facilities to comply with the Department of Health’s directive will lead to administrative penalties, up to and including license suspension.

MORE
Rutledge Hosts Roundtable with Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Bledsoe and Local Leaders
Rutledge’s Statement on Texas Order Prohibiting Elective Surgeries

Rutledge’s Statement on Texas Order Prohibiting Elective Surgeries

Tue, Apr 7, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision upholding Texas’s Executive Order prohibiting elective procedures—including abortions—to preserve personal protective equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutledge signed on to a 16-state brief in support of Texas’s law.

“Our country is experiencing an unprecedented pandemic and states have the duty to conserve resources like personal protective equipment to ensure we deal with this immediate crisis,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Like all others who perform elective procedures, abortion practitioners must do their part to help us slow the growth of this terrible disease and save Arkansans’ lives.”

MORE
Rutledge to Partner with UA Little Rock Tracking False COVID-19 Websites and Scams Online

Rutledge to Partner with UA Little Rock Tracking False COVID-19 Websites and Scams Online

Mon, Apr 6, 2020

Says, ‘identifying and putting a stop to fake websites that are spreading misinformation’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a partnership with the University of Arkansas Little Rock (UA Little Rock) and the Arkansas Research Alliance to identify and track COVID-related scam websites and social media disinformation that have rapidly spread with the pandemic. Sites that spread lies, offer fake cures and sell false treatments undermine Arkansas’s efforts to combat this disease and present a hazard to consumers’ physical, financial and online safety. Rutledge is dedicated to protecting consumers and the legitimate business community from these online threats. This collaboration offers a new avenue to quickly identify the bad actors who want to spread misinformation or steal consumers’ money or identity.

“During this phase of the pandemic where fear is peaking, it is extremely important to stop bad actors that are using the internet to offer misinformation, sell fake tests, cures or solicit contributions to fake COVID charities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This partnership will ensure we are quickly identifying and putting a stop to fake websites that are spreading misinformation with the purpose of stealing from Arkansans.”

Rutledge’s partnership will include working with Dr. Nitin Agarwal, fellow of the Arkansas Research Alliance and a Distinguished Professor of Information Science at UA Little Rock. Dr. Agarwal and his team of researchers at COSMOS study online behavior to identify and combat threats. They have developed a website that can help people identify, understand, and report misinformation, fake websites, and scams regarding COVID-19, which is published at http://cosmos.ualr.edu/covid-19 for the general public to view. Dr. Agarwal is directing several projects with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“Working with Attorney General’s office gives us the opportunity to apply our internationally renowned research on malicious cyber behaviors right here at home,” said Dr. Agarwal. “We are confident that this partnership will open avenues for exciting research opportunities and spark innovation.”

To find out more information about COVID scams and fake websites, or file a consumer complaint visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

MORE
Rutledge Grants $1 Million for Personal Protective Equipment

Rutledge Grants $1 Million for Personal Protective Equipment

Fri, Mar 27, 2020

Says, ‘If our healthcare providers are unable to care for patients, then exponentially more Arkansans could suffer’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced allocating $1 million for the State to acquire lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by doctors, nurses and medical providers in the State to combat COVID-19. The money will be sourced from the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund, which consists of monies from lawsuit settlements and not taxpayer dollars.

“This shortage of personal protective equipment is putting our front-line healthcare providers at risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “If our healthcare providers are unable to care for patients, then exponentially more Arkansans could suffer.”

On March 20, 2020, Rutledge allocated $3 million, from the same funds, to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Quick Action Loan Program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutledge also has been proactively pursuing violations of price gouging laws since the Governor’s March 11 emergency declaration. Letters were sent to Amazon, eBay and Walmart regarding their proactive measures to prevent price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.

Rutledge has received over 500 consumer complaints as a result of Arkansas’s price gouging law which prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

MORE
Rutledge Allocates $3 Million to Fight COVID-19 in Arkansas

Rutledge Allocates $3 Million to Fight COVID-19 in Arkansas

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Says, ‘Small Businesses are the back-bone of our communities’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced allocating $3 million to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Quick Action Loan Program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will be in addition to the $4 million the Governor directed to the same program. The announcement was made during Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily briefing on COVID-19. The money will be sourced from the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund, which consists of monies from lawsuit settlements and not taxpayer dollars.

“This money will be a lifeline for many Arkansas small businesses owners and will help to protect them from the prolonged economic hardships these local job creators are now facing,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Small Businesses are the back-bone of our communities, and we must do everything we can to help them during these unprecedented times. Uniting our efforts will not only help stop this pandemic and heal those who are sick, but also help jumpstart our state as we recover from COVID-19.”

Since the Governor’s declaration last week, Rutledge has been enforcing the price gouging laws in the State that protect Arkansans. Earlier this week, letters were sent to Amazon, eBay and Walmart praising the companies for their proactive response in preventing price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.

Arkansas’s price gouging law prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

MORE
Contact Us