On Wednesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul said that his wife Kelley had bought up to $15,000 in stocks in Gilead Sciences Inc. the company that makes the antiviral drug remdesivir, which was used to treat former President Trump. Although the stock was bought in February 2020, Paul reported it about 16 months later on Wednesday. This made it troubling according to ethics experts.
According to a federal law called Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge or the STOCK Act, congresspersons are required to disclose stocks purchases within a 45-day deadline. It was created in 2012 to maintain transparency about stocks traded and owned by congresspersons. The Gilead stock had been purchased on February 26, 2020, by Kelley Paul.
Dr Rand Paul was a practicing ophthalmologist before he became a senator and had recently been suspended from Twitter for his anti-cloth masks comments. Earlier, he had been in a few spats on the Senate with Dr. Anthony Fauci. The 58-year-old senator from Kentucky was the first senator to test positive for COVID-19 and since has criticized public health guidelines and challenged Dr. Fauci on COVID-19 guidelines and more.
Kelsey Cooper, Paul’s spokesperson said that the financial disclosure was late by over a year as the initial filing was improperly transmitted. The spokesperson also said that Dr.Paul had completed the reporting form for an investment made by his wife using her earnings on which she lost money.
The statement added that in the process of preparing to file his annual financial disclosure for last year, he realized that the form was not transmitted and promptly alerted the filing office and requested their guidance. After he received the guidance, he filed both the reports on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, after the news of the delayed financial disclosure was released, government ethics experts and advocates commented on it and criticized the delay including questioning why it had taken a year and a half from him to report it.
Image Gage Skidmore