Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BURR'S CONTRAST--PRIVATE ACTIONS VS. PUBLIC PASSIVITY IN ADDRESSING CORONAVIRUS: To private donors: "There's one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history," he said. "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic." In public op-ed: “The United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration,” they reassured readers. We have since discovered things aren’t quite that way. If he had such confidence as a Senator, why did he on Feb. 13, unload dozens of stocks – personal investments worth up to $1.5 million – that would lose much of their value in the next few weeks? Burr was elected by the citizens of N.C. Seems like it would be his job to call home, sound the alarm to his constituents and help us get ready and push the federal government to get its act together.

Saturday News: Who cares for the caregivers?

SHORTAGE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT PLAGUES U.S. HOSPITALS: With coronavirus cases soaring, doctors, nurses and other front-line medical workers across the United States are confronting a dire shortage of masks, surgical gowns and eye gear to protect them from the virus. In interviews, doctors said they were increasingly anxious, fearing they could expose not only themselves to the virus but also their families and others. Both WakeMed in Raleigh and the Durham-based Duke University Health System have sufficient personal protective equipment, or PPE, for now, officials of the two hospital systems said. "The big concern that all of us have is this issue of the [potential patient] surge," said Dr. Joseph Rogers, chief medical officer for Duke Health. "This anticipation that there may be a large influx of patients who need to be isolated, and the consumption of PPE will then go up significantly."

Be careful what you wish for: Should Burr resign?

Lots of people are calling for Burr to resign, and god knows we'd all be better off if he did. But there's danger. Specifically this: If he were to resign, the executive committee of the NCGOP gets to nominate his replacement ... with Cooper having to choose among their three submissions.

Friday News: Insider trading


BURR IN HOT SEAT AFTER SELLING OFF STOCKS IN EARLY FEBRUARY: U.S. Sen. Richard Burr sold up to $1.5 million in stocks, including hotel chains, in mid-February weeks before he warned a private group that the coronavirus was “akin to the 1918 pandemic” and warned it to rethink European travel. The stock sales Feb. 13 were reflected on a financial disclosure form filed with the Senate on Feb. 27, the same day he spoke to members of the Tar Heel Circle, a high-dollar membership organization that is part of the North Carolina State Society of Washington, D.C. ProPublica and the Center for Responsive Politics first reported the stock sales. NPR first reported Burr’s comments. Burr was one of three senators to vote against the STOCK Act, a 2012 bill “that explicitly prevents members of Congress and their staffs from using nonpublic information for insider trading,” according to McClatchy reporting at the time. Burr called the bill “ludicrous” and said existing laws already covered it for all Americans, including members of Congress.


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