GOP Senators Accused of Dumping Stocks After Getting Senate Briefing on COVID-19 and Even Conservatives Are Calling Them Out

Samuel Corum/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

If President Donald Trump really wants to "drain the swamp," he can start with his own party.

On January 24, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NAID) director Anthony Fauci briefed Senators on how the Trump administration would be responding to the imminent COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. The briefing was private.

Shortly after, multiple Republican Senators, including Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), sold a collective millions of dollars in stocks.

Both Senators were publicly echoing President Donald Trump's administration that lawmakers were prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's Loeffler assuring her constituents of a strong economy and ample preparation for the pandemic as recently as March 10.

In addition to Loeffler selling millions of dollars in stock, she also invested hundreds of thousands in Citrix—a telework company. Citrix's stock saw an uptick as Americans were encouraged to work remotely. Loeffler's husband is also the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

In private, Burr warned high profile constituents that the pandemic could result in a stock market plunge and cripple numerous industries—including that of business travel. Burr sold stocks in Wyndham Hotels and Extended Stay America—both of whose stock prices would plummet after Americans across the country would be urged to begin working from home.

Burr's February stock sales rose exponentially after the briefing.

Given the Senators' private intel, some are accusing them of insider trading, which became illegal for members of Congress in 2012.

Even their fellow Republicans are calling on them to explain—and even resign.

Other Republicans began accusing Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of selling her stock in response to the briefing as well, though it appears these sales were different, with Feinstein selling her stock at its lowest price in 52 weeks, before it rose then fell again in response to the epidemic.

Loeffler claims that the accusations against her are "ridiculous," and that a third party handles her stock market transactions. She claims she didn't know of the sales until weeks after.

Burr said he relied solely on public news for his stock information.

Even after the questionable defenses, Americans across the country maintain that Loeffler and Burr's actions are a disgrace to their offices.

Their corruption is threatening to haunt Donald Trump as well.

The swamp is murkier than ever.

ABC News

As more information becomes available regarding the virus that's caused a public health crisis in the United States, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans in hard-hit areas to begin wearing cloth masks to cover their faces.

Unlike medical professionals, who need N95 masks (of which there is a shortage) when treating virus patients, average Americans can wear makeshift cloth masks that block the saliva droplets through which the virus is spread.

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Tom Brenner/Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Given President Donald Trump's propensity for lying and his administration's constant misinformation regarding the current global pandemic, Americans across the country have become selective about which sources they deem as credible in seeking potentially lifesaving information in the face of a national health crisis.

Iowa's Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, is in stark disagreement with most Americans on whom to trust regarding measures designed to curb the virus.

Iowa is one of a few states that still has yet to issue a stay-at-home order to slow the virus's spread. Reynolds has resisted taking the step despite a unanimous recommendation from the Iowa Board of Medicine to do so.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that all states should institute these orders.

Reynolds's response was...telling.

After calling stay-at-home orders a "divisive issue," the governor said:

"I would say that maybe [Fauci] doesn't have all the information"

Fauci has quickly become one of the most notable figures in the pandemic's response, and one of the few officials in President Donald Trump's virus task force that Americans widely trust to deliver accurate information. He's been an integral part of curbing health crises from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States to Avian Flu to H1N1 and more.

If Fauci doesn't have all the information, then the country is—for lack of a better word—completely screwed.

People were appalled at the governor's defense.

It's safe to say that Fauci has more information and experience in these situations than any governor in the nation—including Reynolds.

The death toll in the United States from the virus recently surpassed 6000.

Information saves lives. Ignorance endangers them.

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In the face of the global pandemic that's killed over 5000 Americans, President Donald Trump is still expressing reluctance to employ federal powers to assist states hardest hit by the virus.

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Because the virus originated in Wuhan, China, anti-Chinese hysteria has sprouted up across the country. These racist flames have only been stoked by President Donald Trump, whose insistence on calling it "Chinese virus" corresponded with an uptick in hate crimes and harassment of Asian Americans across the across the United States, regardless of their country of origin or ancestry.

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The internet is flooded with messages of support for Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who commands the 5000 person crew of the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that was recently forced to dock in Guam.

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