Rand Paul's Wife Somehow Lost Money Trading Pharma Stock During Pandemic
Sen. Rand Paul has some 'splaining to do! Last year, in late February, not long before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), it seems his wife, Kelley Paul, bought stock in pharma giant Gilead Sciences. But oops! The senator somehow only disclosed the stock trade in a Senate filing yesterday, which as the Washington Post notes, "came 16 months after the 45-day reporting deadline set forth in the Stock Act, which is designed to combat insider trading."
Now look, these things happen and it's just a little paperwork oversight is all. Involving stock in a company that coincidentally manufactures Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug that's been used in treating COVID-19. It's easy to overlook such things when you're one of the Senate's biggest idiots on the pandemic and public health, after all. Besides, maybe Kelley Paul thought that in buying stock in Gilead, she was simply doing her part to make The Handmaid's Tale a reality.
The Post consulted several "experts in corporate and securities law" who said the deal, and especially the late reporting of it, was some kind of ethical problem, because 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. [...]
"The senator ought to have an explanation for the trade and, more importantly, why it took him almost a year and a half to discover it from his wife," said James D. Cox, a professor of law at Duke University.
Then again, "ethics" and "trust in government" are such quaint, old-fashioned concerns that hardly even matter in today's modern world of today, aren't they? Besides, as Paul spokesperson Kelsey Cooper explained, it was a simple misunderstanding, or perhaps a glitch, you see. Cooper said Paul had
completed a reporting form for his wife's investment last year but learned only recently, while preparing an annual disclosure, that the form had not been transmitted. He sought guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee, she said, and filed the supplemental report Wednesday along with the annual disclosure, which was due in May and submitted three months late.
Pfft, and reporting deadlines? Who cares about those, are we still in college and pulling fun pranks like kidnapping young women in the name of Aqua Buddha? The whole problem with this country is that we have too many rules anyway, and we should get rid of them, especially for Republican officeholders.
Also, Cooper explained that Kelley Paul actually lost money on the deal, which she paid for with her own income anyhow:
The purchase was of between $1,000 and $15,000 of stock in Gilead, which makes the antiviral drug known as remdesivir. The company's stock was worth $74.70 per share on the day of the purchase and rose above $80 in March. It has since fluctuated and was worth $69.84 on the day of Paul's disclosure more than a year later.
The Post explains that, while Remdesivir eventually turned out to have disappointing results in clinical trials (it was given to Donald Trump when he had COVID-19, but he recovered anyway), at the time Kelley Paul bought the Gilead stock, Remdesivir was thought to be pretty hot stuff.
On February 24, 2020, two days before the stock purchase, a WHO official called Remdesivir the only known drug that "may have real efficacy" in treating COVID-19. But wait, if that was public knowledge, how can you monsters in the media even dare suggest there might be something ethically stinky about it?
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.
"Not everything about the product was necessarily clear from existing announcements," Mitts said. "There could have been information about interest that certain individuals within administration may have had in the product, or that hospitals here in the U.S. were already loading up."
Not to worry, though: Paul's spox made clear that the senator couldn't have given his spouse any insider information because he's just incredibly inattentive and bad at his job, so there!
Cooper said the senator attended no briefings on covid-19. Eight days after his wife invested in the company behind the antiviral drug thought to be effective against covid-19, Paul cast the lone vote in the Senate against $8.3 billion in emergency spending to combat the emerging outbreak.
Oh sure, maybe you could say that Paul should have been reminded to double-check he'd reported his wife's stock trades last spring, when there was all that reporting on allegations of possible insider trading by other senators like Richard Burr or Kelly Loeffler. But that would make you some kind of ethics freak, like Jordan Libowitz, comms director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who told the Post, "One would think he would make sure all of his reporting was on the up and up," but that just shows how Washington insiders think.
Besides, at the time, Rand Paul was so busy getting infected and being an irresponsible dick around the Capitol that he probably didn't have time to think about paperwork.
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