- Nov 2005
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) dumped between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his stocks on Feb. 13, days after writing a Fox News op-ed that said the U.S. is "better prepared than ever before" to face public health threats like the coronavirus, according to ProPublica.
Why it matters: Reuters reported on Feb. 27 that as chairman of the secretive committee, Burr had been receiving daily updates from the intelligence community about the outbreak.
Between the lines: Burr's sell-offs — which were executed between his op-ed and later warnings — included stocks in several companies that were set to be hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, according to ProPublica.
- NPR reported earlier Thursday that Burr struck a much darker tone on Feb. 27, telling a private luncheon of constituents that the coronavirus is "much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history."
- "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic," he added.
- The stock market has dropped about 30% since Burr's sales.
Worth noting: In 2012, Burr was one of only three senators to oppose a bill that would explicitly bar members of Congress and their staff from using non-public information for personal benefit, including stock-trading.
- Up to $150,000 of his sold stocks were shares of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Up to $100,000 were shares of the hospitality chain Extended Stay America.
- Tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries as travel has come to a virtual standstill as a result of the pandemic.
Burr wrote in an op-ed days earlier that was is "better prepared than ever before" to face a health crisis.
I'll be curious to see if anything happens to him because of this.
Somehow, I doubt it...