US Senators Sold Major Stock Amid Coronavirus Fears

Barr had downplayed the virus’ threat to the economy.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr. (Photo by: Jose Luis Magana)

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is under fire for selling over a million bucks in stock just before the market dropped amid the coronavirus outbreak.

What We Know:

  • Burr had downplayed the virus’ threat to the economy, while at the same time offloading almost 1.6 million dollars in stock after private briefings on the deadly virus according to CBS News. Several of the stocks were in major corporations that own hotels.
  • Senate records show Burr and his wife sold a significant amount of stock last month, between $600,000 and $1.7 million in 33 separate transactions beginning in late January and mid-February, just as the stock market started to crash due to COVID-19.
  • ProPublica was among the first to report that the North Carolina senator was selling off large quantities of stock after seemingly obtaining information the general public had not yet had about coronavirus.
  • It is against the law for members of Congress to trade stocks based on private information, which is why many now call for Burr’s resignation. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the loudest voices.
  • Several other senators had reportly followed as Burr’s actions. According to Senate records, Sen. Kelly Loeffler is also being called out on social media for reportedly selling between $1.2M and $3.1M worth of stock the day of a closed-door, all-Senator briefing on the coronavirus back in January.

Republicans were not the only ones who took advantage of the privileged information. California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein also sold her stock. Senate records show that throughout February, she sold $1.5 million to $6 million worth of shares.

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Javier Garay is an Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.

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