Two Republican senators were caught selling off millions of dollars worth of stocks shortly after a closed-door Senate-only meeting forecasting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.
Republican Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler sold roughly $3.1 million in stocks she jointly held with her husband between January 24 and February 14, just before the disease put the stock market into freefall. Her colleague and fellow Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr sold off roughly $1.5 million of his own stocks in February as well, shortly before hosting a private meeting with wealthy constituents where he detailed to them the potential impacts of the virus, according to NPR.
As Senate Intel Chair Richard Burr was privately warning about the dangers of coronavirus, he was offloading between $500k and $1.5M in stocks that plummeted in value weeks later https://t.co/NXDqNd0Q1m
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) March 19, 2020
Loeffler has yet to release comment on the issue, but Burr addressed the NPR story on Twitter. (RELATED: McConnell Introduces Text For Phase Three Coronavirus Stimulus Bill)
In a tabloid-style hit piece today, NPR knowingly and irresponsibly misrepresented a speech I gave last month about the coronavirus threat.
Let me set the record straight. 1/
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) March 19, 2020
“Every state has a state society,” Burr went on to argue. “They aren’t ‘secretive’ or ‘high-dollar donor. organizations. They’re great civic institutions that bring people in D.C. together for events, receptions, and lunches. And they’re open to anyone who wants to get involved.’” (RELATED: Rick Wilson Appears To Wish Coronavirus On First Lady)
Burr’s remarks at the meeting were saved to an audio recording which NPR obtained. On it, he can be heard warning the attendees that the virus was much more serious than was being widely reported at the time.
“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”