NEW: Senator Perdue Bought Pfizer Stock One Week Before Company Announced Vaccine

December 2, 2020

Salon: “Perdue bought [stock] the day Pfizer warned investors the pandemic might hurt the company. The next day, he bought more”

ATLANTA — In keeping with Perdue’s previously exposed “well-timed” stock trades, a new Salon report revealed that Senator David Perdue purchased Pfizer stock one week before the company publicly announced it would be developing a coronavirus vaccine, raising more questions about what Perdue knew and when.

Despite Pfizer warning investors in late February of potentially negative impacts the virus could have on its operations, Perdue’s broker chose to buy more Pfizer stock that day, and even more the next day, when Perdue’s office issued its first press release about COVID-19, noting that the U.S. was “expediting the development of a vaccine.” A week later, Pfizer announced a partnership with a company to develop a vaccine that it theorized could be brought to market faster than traditional vaccines. This latest stock trading scandal adds to a robust list of self-dealing controversies Senator Perdue has been embroiled in where legal experts have deemed the timing of Perdue’s acquisitions  “suspicious” or akin to “batting 100 percent.”

“When the coronavirus was first beginning to spread across the country, Senator Perdue was focusing on getting richer instead of saving lives,” said Braxton Brewington, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Perdue should be ashamed, and Georgia voters won’t forget how he put his paycheck before the health and safety of millions of families.”

Salon: David Perdue bought Pfizer stock — a week before company said it would develop a vaccine

  • “In a series of transactions in late February, Perdue also invested up to $245,000 in the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Though the Pfizer purchase has been reported previously, the events surrounding it have not: One week after those stock purchases, the company publicly announced it would be developing a coronavirus vaccine.
  • “Although the Justice Department eventually cleared Perdue of insider trading, this synchronicity raises new questions about what the senator knew and when.”
  • “Still, he is among the most active traders in Congress. … The Pfizer transactions would seem to have required even more faith in his broker, who apparently felt counterintuitive confidence in the company’s stock in the early stages of a market-wide crash, and during a week where its shares fell in line with the Dow’s overall drop of more than 6%.”
  • “Perdue’s broker would have been similarly undaunted by the company’s Feb. 27 warning to investors that the pandemic “could adversely impact” its operations, including clinical trials: … Perdue’s broker chose to buy more Pfizer stock that day.”
  • “The broker bought even more the next day, when Perdue’s office issued its first press release about the coronavirus — a joint statement with fellow Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler that touted their attendance at “regular congressional briefings led by the Coronavirus Task Force.””
  • “The statement noted that the U.S. is “expediting the development of a vaccine.” In the next few days, it became clear that Pfizer had made the Trump administration aware of its pursuit of coronavirus therapeutics and a vaccine.”
  • “When public pressure forced Perdue to liquidate his stocks in mid-April, his Pfizer investments yielded profits as high as 9%. If he had held on until the Nov. 9 announcement, the Peach State Republican could have cobbled together gains as high as 25.7%.”
  • “It is not clear whether Perdue has a direct personal relationship with Pfizer executives or lobbyists. Federal Elections Commission filings show that Perdue’s campaign over the last four years has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Pfizer’s PAC, including a $2,800 contribution last November from company CEO Albert Bourla.”
  • “However, one of Pfizer’s donations — a $2,500 contribution to One Georgia PAC — came on the same day as Perdue’s first purchase of Pfizer stock this year.”
  • “Last week, Salon reported that a government accountability watchdog has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate another series of Perdue’s trades, these involving stocks in a defense contractor that had benefited from a bill Perdue worked on, unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “The Perdue campaign did not immediately reply to Salon’s request for comment.”


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