BLOG: Self-Dealing, COVID-19 and the Public Trust

Tim Whitehouse

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Reports that U.S. Senators sold millions of dollars in stock after receiving non-public information during Congressional briefings in January and February on the coronavirus threat should come as no surprise given the endemic self-dealing by government leaders.

These elected officials did not challenge Trump’s litany of lies trivializing the virus. Instead they worked to protect their riches. They did not call for more test kits, masks, ventilators, hospital beds, nurses, or EMTs, etc. Nor did they call for mobilizing a massive public sector response to the impending crisis.

Instead they remained largely silent.

A public office is a public trust. We are in the midst of a pandemic that is bringing grave illness and death, and causing an economic crisis that threatens our collective livelihood and our economic security.

Public sector employees are at the center of the response to this crisis. Many of them are put in harms way. To have their leadership deceive them and the public about the nature of the threat is unacceptable.

In times of crisis, the public is told to come together, to help each other, and to work for the common good. That is good advice. We should expect the same from our elected leaders.


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