Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says It’s ‘Absolutely Wild’ Senators Can Trade Stocks After Rand Paul Discloses Controversial Gilead Purchase
- Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was “absolutely wild” that members of Congress could trade shares.
- She lambasted the practice after Sen. Rand Paul revealed a purchase of Gilead shares that was 16 months late.
- Paul’s office told media that the senator’s wife has lost money on the drug bet so far.
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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was “absolutely wild” for members of Congress to be allowed to buy and sell stocks, after Senator Rand Paul revealed his wife’s investment in the drugmaker against coronaviruses Gilead 16 months late.
Paul revealed Tuesday that his wife bought up to $ 15,000 in shares of Gilead – which makes the coronavirus treatment drug remdesivir – on February 26, 2020, just as COVID-19 was spreading around the world.
The Senator’s disclosure of the purchase came 16 months after the 45-day deadline set by the STOCK Act, legislation designed to increase transparency and reduce the threat of insider trading.
Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper told several press briefings that the senator’s wife had lost money on the investment. She said Paul completed the documents on time, but for some reason they weren’t filed. Insider has contacted Paul’s office for comment and will update this story with any response.
Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on the issue with a tweet Thursday, saying: “It is absolutely crazy that members of Congress are still allowed to buy and sell individual stocks. It shouldn’t be legal.
“We have introduced legislation to end this practice, but as one can imagine, it is a very difficult battle to fight. It should not even be controversial!”
The purchase of shares by Paul – who is a member of the Senate Health Committee – reopened a long-standing debate over whether members of Congress should be able to buy and sell individual stocks, given that they often experience significant issues before the public.
Kelley Paul bought between $ 1,001 and $ 15,000 in Gilead stock last year. The company’s remdesivir became one of the first drugs approved by U.S. officials to fight COVID-19.
Gilead was worth $ 74.70 per share at market close on February 26, according to Bloomberg data. It hit a pandemic peak of $ 85.97 in March 2020, but was worth $ 70.88 at Thursday’s closing bell.
Paul did not disclose that his wife sold the shares, which means she has yet to realize any losses or gains.