In early 2020 as the covid-19 pandemic began to drag the U.S. down, Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s wife, Kelley Paul, purchased shares of the drug company Gilead Sciences, which was working on a treatment for the virus.
Kelley Paul completed the purchase one day after the first clinical trial began for Gilead’s antiviral drug Remdesivir, which later became the first drug to be approved for treating covid-19, CNBC reported.
Sen. Paul claims he forgot to send in paperwork disclosing his wife’s stock purchase, CNBC reported.
The Kentucky senator disclosed his wife’s purchase on Aug. 11, 2021, more than 16 months after the mandatory and legal deadline for such disclosures by a member of Congress. Under the 2012 STOCK Act, members of Congress must disclose the purchase and sale of individual stocks, bonds, and commodity futures within 45 days of the transaction.
Paul sits on the Senate health committee, which was briefed on the coronavirus threat a month before his wife purchased the Gilead shares.
Kelley Paul purchased up to $15,000 worth of Gilead shares three weeks before the World Health Organization declared covid-19 a pandemic.
A spokeswoman for Paul said the senator and his wife “lost money” on the Gilead stock.
Some Twitter users called conflict of interest.
“I believe that’s called insider trading,” Beverley Kendall Romance Author@beverleykendall tweeted.
“No senators or congresspeople should be able to trade individual stocks. Win or lose on the stock, it’s wrong” lisa pick@aglantzlisapick1 tweeted.
Paul was the first U.S. senator to test positive for covid-19 but he has repeatedly rebuked public health guidance, CNN reported. Recently, Paul was suspended from YouTube for seven days over a video he posted that claimed masks are ineffective in fighting covid-19, according to a YouTube spokesperson.
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