Scrutiny over financial bets placed by Republican senators after private briefings on the coronavirus pandemic increased on Friday.
On Thursday, multiple Republican senators filed public documents revealing that large shifts in investments.
"GOP Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., purchased between $100,000 and $250,000 of stock in a fund invested in health sciences companies in late January, just days after attending a briefing on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus," CNBC reported Friday.
"The Jan. 29 purchase of shares in the BlackRock Health Sciences Trust II fund, detailed in Hoeven’s financial disclosure report filed in February, came before markets began plunging later that month, once the unfolding public health crisis began to affect economies around the world," CNBC noted. "It came five days after Hoeven was briefed by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the State Department on efforts to contain COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus."
The senator's office says the deal was not motivated by his private briefing.
“No, the fund was purchased based on the recommendation of his financial advisor and in accordance with Senate regulations and reporting requirements,” spokesperson Kami Capener said. “Also, the senator agreed to his financial advisor’s recommendation during the first week in January, however the fund didn’t IPO until January 29.”