Kelly Paul, Senator Rand Paul’s wife, bought shares in remdesivir, the COVID therapeutic drug made by Gilead, very early in the pandemic. And the senator didn’t mention the purchase until this week — 16 months after the fact. Per the 2012 STOCK Act, he was supposed to disclose such a transaction within 45 days.
Kelly Paul made her big buy on February 26, 2020, three weeks before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, at a time when the issue was still on the back burner for most Americans.
Making matters more interesting, CNBC reports, remdesivir was the only stock purchase of an individual company made by either of the Pauls in at least a decade.
Paul, like other senators, attended classified briefings on the COVID threat in January. The timing of his wife’s purchase recalls eyebrow-raising stock transactions made after those briefings by other lawmakers, including former North Carolina senator Richard Burr and former Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler, among others. Department of Justice probes into the senators ended this year with no charges being brought.
The Washington Post reports that Paul claims a bureaucratic snafu as the reason for the long delay:
Kelsey Cooper, a spokeswoman for Paul, said the senator completed a reporting form for his wife’s investment last year but learned only recently, while preparing an annual disclosure, that the form had not been transmitted. He sought guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee, she said, and filed the supplemental report Wednesday along with the annual disclosure, which was due in May and submitted three months late.
Cooper also told the Post that Kelley Paul lost money on her purchase, since the price of remdesivir was actually slightly lower on the day Rand Paul disclosed the purchase than it was when his wife bought it. (Since she has not yet sold the stock, she has not yet actually gained or lost anything.)
From the beginning, Paul has taken a starring role in opposing COVID safety and funding measures. He was the only senator to vote against the chamber’s initial massive COVID relief bill. He has sparred with Dr. Anthony Fauci numerous times on the Senate floor and vigorously opposes mask mandates. This week, his YouTube account was suspended for seven days over his claim that cloth masks don’t work in preventing COVID transmission.