Sen. Richard Burr offloaded between $582,029 and $1.56 million worth of stock about a week before the stock market began to plunge because of the coronavirus.
The North Carolina Republican leads the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is briefed on and has access to information related to the most serious threats facing the United States. Burr sold the stock through at least 29 separate transactions on Feb. 13, according to ProPublica. A week later, the stock market began to slide and has lost nearly a third of its value since.
While Burr’s committee reportedly received daily updates on the coronavirus threat, it is unclear when those closed-door briefings began. Burr’s office declined to say whether the first briefing was held before, on, or after Feb. 13, citing committee policy that committee members do not comment on closed-door briefings.
On Feb. 7, Burr encouraged the public that the U.S. is “better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus,” in a Fox News op-ed with GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.