Brendan Burke, Copy Editor

The novel coronavirus has been the topic of all news in present media and continues to do so as the case numbers rise, the death toll increases and schools remain closed. However, one story that broke close to two weeks ago has fizzled out through the COVID-19 news and must be noticed by the American people: the scandal of United States senators being accused of insider trading.


It is completely understood that the greater area of focus in these times is the virus; however, these claims against legislators, both Democrat and Republican, raise a bigger question over how the ethics of our leaders are treated. 


For those that are unaware, Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma along with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California have all been accused of an insider trading scandal related to coronavirus. 


When the Senate was being briefed behind closed doors before the downturn of the stock market occurred, these four senators traded hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars in stocks in order to economically benefit. However, Burr did ask the Senate Ethics Committee to review his sales because he states that he only used public information and knew this scandal would arise and Feinstein states that her husband was the primary person selling on the market.


While these stories may be true and are justifiable defenses for this crime, no one can be too sure if these senators were actually only using public information. During the time of their first briefings as early as January, COVID-19 had barely entered the United States and the stock market showed no signs of downturn. 


If these acts end up being proven as insider trading, every single one of these senators would be caught violating the law under the Stock Act of 2012 because it declares that selling stocks with closed door Senate information is illegal. 


The reason a scandal such as this one is important for Prospect students is because of its greater meaning of how those in power can turn corrupt. It is up to the students to no longer tolerate behavior such as this going into the future and forces everyone to re-evaluate what is appropriate behavior for those in elected offices.


This is not a partisan issue, and it is merely a question of how the government wants to set an example based on the people who are a part of it. For the time being, it is completely legal for senators to own stocks, but it is up to those in power to understand the easy corruption that can occur once private information is placed into the hands of another. Just because this virus has engulfed the country does not mean it has to engulf the values of a just and fair America.