Most Americans would classify the last few weeks as having been among the most dreadful they’ve experienced, but for North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, that characterization would have to be an understatement.
In case you missed it, the nonprofit national news outlet Pro Publica — which previously published stories about Burr selling stocks in industries likely to suffer and failing to alert his constituents after receiving a dire assessment of the likely impact of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, and selling a DC townhouse he owned to a lobbyist with business in front of the Senate — published yet another extremely disturbing news story last night about the senator.
Here’s an excerpt:
Sen. Richard Burr Is Not Just a Friend to the Health Care Industry. He’s Also a Stockholder.
The Republican of North Carolina, who is under investigation for his stock trading, regularly flips health care stocks even as he pushes for legislation to help the industry.
Serving on the health care and finance committees, Burr advocated to end the tax on medical device makers, one of the industry’s most-detested aspects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. He pushed the Food and Drug Administration to speed up its approval process. As one of the most prominent Republican health care policy thinkers, he has sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of health-related bills, including a proposal to replace “Obamacare.” He oversaw the implementation of major legislation to pump taxpayer money into private sector initiatives to address public health threats. “The industry feels very positive about Sen. Burr,” the president of North Carolina’s bioscience trade group said during Burr’s last reelection campaign. “He’s done a stellar job.”
Burr also trades in and out of the industry’s stocks.
Since 2013, Burr and his wife bought and sold between $639,500 and $1.1 million of stock in companies that make medical devices, equipment, supplies and drugs, according to a ProPublica analysis of his financial disclosures.
The story goes on to document Burr’s cozy relationship with the industry and his regular work to defend its interests in the Senate over a period of several years.
Previous revelations had led to widespread calls from North Carolinians for Burr to resign prior to the scheduled end of his current term in January of 2023. Burr has said he will not seek re-election in November of 2022.
Click here to read the entire Pro Publica story.