Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has had a lot to say about COVID-19. In fact, he’s said so much about “resisting” the CDC and medical science that he’s frequently quoted at school board meetings where outraged anti-maskers scream about liberty and freedom. It’s what he didn’t say, however, that reveals much about the truth behind his stance on COVID policies.
Rand Paul revealed today that his wife bought stock in Gilead — which makes an antiviral drug used to treat the coronavirus — on Feb. 26, 2020, before the threat from covid was fully understood by the public. He disclosed 16 MONTHS later than required. https://t.co/ZgDkh3ivoi
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) August 11, 2021
On February 26, 2020, before a single American had died of COVID-19, before the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic, before the first lockdown or cancelled event or crazy Trump press conference, Rand Paul’s wife bought stock in Gilead Sciences, makers of the anti-viral drug used to treat COVID-19, remdesivir. Legally, Sen. Paul had 45 days to report the purchase of that stock. He didn’t do so, however, until 16 months later, in August 2021.
‘Experts in corporate and securities law said the investment, and especially the delayed reporting of it, undermined trust in government and raised questions about whether the Kentucky Republican’s family had sought to profit from nonpublic information about the looming health emergency and plans by the U.S. government to combat it. Several senators sold large amounts of stocks in January or February of last year, prompting a handful of insider-trading probes. Most of those investigations concluded in the spring of 2020, according to notifications from the Justice Department to lawmakers under scrutiny.’
The news comes on the same day that Sen. Paul was blocked from posting videos on the website YouTube after he spread anti-mask inaccuracies on the social media site. Having spent the day railing about censorship and tyranny, Paul now must answer questions about what motivated his wife to purchase stock when she did and, much more importantly, why Paul failed to meet his duty to report it.
‘Remdesivir was backed on Feb. 24, 2020 — two days before Kelley Paul’s purchase — by a WHO assistant director general, who described it as the only known drug that “may have real efficacy” in treating the novel virus.
‘The existence of public information causing Gilead’s stock to rise, said Joshua Mitts, an expert in securities law at Columbia University, doesn’t rule out the possibility that the senator gained additional knowledge in private. Paul is a member of the Senate health committee, which in January hosted Trump administration officials for a briefing on the coronavirus.’
YouTube has suspended Republican Rand Paul over a video that lies about masks and COVID. https://t.co/NEJmKeEXGr
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 11, 2021
Paul and his spokespeople are sure to argue that his wife lost money on the stock and that Paul voted against spending that put money into Gilead Sciences, which is true since Paul was the sole no vote on a $8.3 billion spending package in March 2020 although he had to know prior to the vote that it would pass without his approval. He will be unable to dismiss questions, though, about why he waited so long to disclose the sale.
‘Jordan Libowitz, communications director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the flurry of media reports about possible insider trading by members of Congress during the reporting window for his wife’s purchase should have made the senator all the more attentive to disclosure rules.
‘“One would think he would make sure all of his reporting was on the up and up,” Libowitz said.’