Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) is the newest member of the Senate. Having been sworn in on January 6 upon the resignation of former Senator Johnny Isakson, she’ll be facing a special election for her seat at the end of the year. That is, if she makes it that far—Loeffler is the second GOP senator to be accused of gaming the stock market during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak for high profits. After a private, senators-only meeting on January 24 about the upcoming crisis, Loeffler gradually sold off stocks totaling more than $1.2 million.
Perhaps predicting the ensuing stock crash (who wouldn’t, with the insider knowledge provided by the CDC director Robert Redfield and the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci), Loeffler began selling off stocks that would logically tank upon a crisis like we are in now. She also made 2 purchases among her 29 stock transactions—one was an investment between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a company that provides remote, work-from-home software. Convenient that she would expect an upswing in their stock value.
Loeffler has taken some heat since. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted a call for Loeffler’s resignation, as well as a second senator, assumedly Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) for his suspiciously timed sales in stocks ranging from Apple to Paypal. She could also be referring to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) who unloaded up to $1.6 million in stock sales in mid-February, mostly in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Extended Stay America. The hospitality industry, obviously, has taken a huge hit since. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) chimed in with a similar sentiment.
Both Inhofe and Loeffler have since deflected accusations. Loeffler claims she and her husband don’t make investment decisions for themselves, and instead third-party advisors handle that all on their own. Inhofe says he wasn’t even at the CDC meeting (he was meeting with “pro-life kids” from Oklahoma), as if his fellow senators would have failed to inform him of the content of the meeting. Regardless, both’s flippancy towards their own financial decisions since is alarming, and it’s hard to take their innocent act without a grain of salt.
It would be nice if, in the coming weeks, Senators Loeffler, Inhofe and Burr made donations toward relief funds for those affected by Coronavirus (maybe to workers whose jobs have been lost in the hospitality industry for Burr?). Of course, a resignation would also be acceptable.