Rand Paul's wife bought stock in company that makes anti-COVID drug -- and he didn't report it for 16 months
Rand Paul (AFP)

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that 16 months ago, the wife of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) bought stock in Gilead Sciences, the company behind a broad-spectrum antiviral called remdesivir that was used to treat COVID-19 before the vaccine was available — and Paul did not report it as required by law until now.

Members of Congress have 45 days to report stock purchases, which means that Paul has been in violation of stock disclosure rules for more than a year.

"The investment, but especially the delayed reporting of it, alarmed experts in corporate and securities law, who said it undermined trust in government and raised questions about whether Paul's family had profited from non-public information about the looming health emergency and plans by the U.S. government to combat it," writes Washington Post reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker. "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 last spring, according to notifications from the Justice Department to lawmakers under scrutiny."

Paul has repeatedly attacked the science of public health restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He has demanded Dr. Fauci, the nation's top adviser on the pandemic, answer conspiracy theories about "gain of function" experiments that allegedly engineered the virus on taxpayer dime. He has also claimed that people wearing masks are "science deniers," urged mass disobedience against the CDC, and this week got temporarily kicked off YouTube for spreading medical misinformation.

"Kelsey Cooper, a spokeswoman for Paul, said the senator 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 along with an annual disclosure Wednesday," said the report. "She also said Paul's wife, Kelley, who is an author and former communications consultant, lost money on the investment, which she made with her own earnings. The purchase was of between $1,000 and $15,000 of stock in Gilead, which makes the antiviral drug known as remdesivir."

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