Georgia senator bought stock in personal protective equipment maker amid coronavirus crisis: report

Greg Nash

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) purchased stock in a company that produces personal protective equipment as the coronavirus crisis heated up, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.

Perdue reported 10 different stock purchases in the company DuPont de Nemours between Jan. 24 and March 2. The investments amounted to $185,000, according to the newspaper. Jan. 24 was the date of a Senate members-only coronavirus briefing but an official for Perdue said the senator did not attend.

The senator’s financial portfolio activity jumped almost threefold last month when compared to monthly reports between January 2018 through February 2020, which recorded an average of 38 transactions.

His financial disclosure form showed 112 transactions, including 76 purchases amounting to $1.8 million and 34 sales amounting to $825,000, the Journal-Constitution reported.

A Perdue spokeswoman said he has not been involved in his personal finances since taking office. 

“Since coming to the U.S. Senate in 2015, Sen. Perdue has always had an outside adviser managing his personal finances, and he is not involved in day-to-day decisions,” his spokeswoman said in a statement. “For the past five years, the senator has fully complied with federal law and all Senate ethics requirements.”

Perdue, who is up for reelection this year, invested more than he sold during the month, including $50,000 in the streaming company Netflix. But he also invested in Delta and Disney in February, which have taken financial hits amid the crisis.

The senator also sold stocks from companies experiencing great profits during the crisis like Kroger and Clorox.

His spokeswoman added that the financial report shows “nothing has changed” in how it’s being managed, and the senator is focusing on helping Georgians “make it through these challenging times.”

Other senators have fallen under public scrutiny after reports surfaced that they sold stocks right before the coronavirus crisis took shape in the U.S. and the markets began to fall, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) who has faced calls to resign. These reports have led some to suggest members of Congress be banned from purchasing stock form individual companies. 

Perdue commented on his financial portfolio in a Nextar interview on March 20.

I can’t address anybody else’s situation, but I can just tell you over the last five years I’ve had outside professionals manage my personal affairs,” he said. “I don’t deal with it on a day-to-day basis.”

“I think if you look through that period of time, you’ll see purchases and sales, just like you would last year at that time or any other time,” he said.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 financial disclosure Kelly Loeffler Personal protective equipment stocks

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