Looks like some senators are in trouble!
According to multiple reports, a number of U.S. Senators appear to have dumped their stocks in January and February, conveniently around the same time attending a January Senate Health Committee briefing on the impending coronavirus impending with NIH head Anthony Fauci. These senators include Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Dianne Feinstein of California, and James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma. If they dumped the stocks because of that briefing, it’s considered insider trading, which is illegal.
The New York Times reports that Burr, whose dumped holdings were discovered first, warned a group at Capitol Hill Club in Washington that the virus would spread quickly and be socially and economically destabilizing. He also wrote an op-ed for Fox News claiming the U.S. was prepared to handle the virus’s arrival, which clearly it wasn’t.
Loeffler, meanwhile, happens to be married to the chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange—huh!—and offloaded millions of dollars worth of stocks in January, according to the Daily Beast. Those stocks’ value plummeted once the threat of the coronavirus hit the market, but not before Loeffler repeatedly asserted that Donald Trump’s administration had a handle on coronavirus. (It did not.)
Burr’s stocks were worth about $628,000 to $1.7 million and included shares in hotel groups, which have obviously tanked now that no one is staying at hotels. Feinstein and her husband reportedly sold $1.5 million to $6 million of stocks from a biotech company, and Inhofe dumped $400,000 worth of stock in PayPal, Apple, and a real estate company.
Loeffler and her husband sold a diverse portfolio; they also bought shares in a company that produces teleworking software, one of the few industries that’s increasing in value now that everyone has to work from home. Convenient? Loeffler says no! Logic says.... definitely yes!