Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is facing calls to resign after reports Thursday that the powerful Intelligence Committee chairman had privately warned well-connected donors of the dire impacts of the coronavirus pandemic last month while selling off up to $1.6 million of his own stocks.
ProPublica reported that Burr — who co-wrote an op-ed for Fox News in early February saying “the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus” — unloaded the stock around mid-February, about a week before the market started to plunge because of coronavirus concerns.
That included selling off up to $150,000 worth of shares of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which has lost two-thirds of its value, ProPublica reported. He also dumped to $100,000 of shares of another hotel chain, Extended Stay America.
ProPublica discovered, and NBC News has confirmed, the stock sell-offs in Burr’s publicly available financial disclosure reports. The exact figures are unclear because the reports offer ranges of transactions.
The Senate Intelligence Committee received a number of briefings and intelligence reports in January and February that included non-public information about the growing coronavirus pandemic, Senate aides have told NBC News. The intelligence remains classified — it’s unclear what warnings were given and exactly when.