In a scathing editorial from the Charlotte Observer's editorial board, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is told he should no longer remain in the U.S. Senate after "betraying" not only his constituents but also all Americans for attempting to profit off of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Using a Pro Publica investigation into his insider trading where he dumped $1.6 million in stock after receiving "material nonpublic information" about the danger of the growing pandemic in a closed-door meeting as a jumping-off point, the editors claimed the story just got worse.
"...as new revelations reminded us this week, his worst transgression might not be what he did when COVID-19 first threatened his state and country. It's what he didn't do," they charged. "Perhaps Burr thought that the stain of his actions would wash away with time. It hasn't. We said last year that Burr's actions were an affront to North Carolinians and embarrassing to the state, and nothing has changed our mind. Regardless of whether the SEC concludes that his actions were criminal, he has failed as a public servant, profiting off of a deadly virus while failing to convey to the public the seriousness of the threat it posed."
As for what Burr "didn't do" they explained, "Fourteen days after dumping his stocks, Burr also warned members of the Tar Heel Circle, a nonpartisan group of North Carolina businesses and organizations, at a February 2020 luncheon that the coronavirus would spread rapidly, and that it was "probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic." Still, he didn't share that assessment with the general public, even as then-president Donald Trump downplayed the situation, hindering the nation's early pandemic response."
Accusing Burr of not "taking responsibility for not sharing that knowledge publicly, or for using it to benefit financially," they urged him to step down as he is unfit for office.
"Though Burr has long planned to step down in 2022, he ought to consider taking an earlier retirement. No matter what happens during the last year of his term, he will continue to be a politician who broke his commitment to serve and protect us when we needed him most. North Carolinians deserved better than that," they suggested.
You can read the whole piece here.