From the Qasim Rashid for Congress (VA-01) campaign:
Rashid for Congress Statement on Congressman Rob Wittman’s Pharma Stock Purchases Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
At a time when our nation needs compassion and unity, Congressman Rob Wittman’s actions have irreparably harmed the 1st District
STAFFORD, VA — Qasim Rashid released the following statement today on the news that Congressman Rob Wittman traded stocks in the early days of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This past weekend, POLITICO reported that VA-01’s Congressman Rob Wittman traded shares of pharmaceutical stock that were directly connected to the coronavirus threat.
“On Feb. 27, as constituents in the 1st District waited for guidance and leadership from their elected officials, President Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 as the Democrat’s “new hoax,” and Congressman Rob Wittman refused to reject the President’s harmful statement. Instead Congressman Wittman quietly betrayed our trust by purchasing between $1,001 and $15,000 of stock in the pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. The day after purchasing this stock to protect his financial interests, Congressman Wittman emailed his constituents to falsely assure us, “At this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.” This dangerously false statement has severely harmed our district.
“To compound the cruelty of these self-serving actions, Representative Wittman has remained quiet as President Trump fired The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Pandemic Response Team, left 700 CDC jobs open and unfilled, severely slashed the CDC’s budget, and downplayed the pending impact of the disease on Americans.
“This is unacceptable behavior from the person we elected to protect us against harm—especially during an unprecedented global pandemic. Once again we are reminded that Virginia’s 1st District suffers a leadership void that must be filled by a compassionate servant-leader. One who is ready to be the advocate that this district’s working families need and deserve.
“To that end, the Rashid for Congress Campaign is taking action. On Tuesday March 24th, our campaign is launching the Compassion Through Action (CTA) initiative to connect volunteers with neighbors in need. The CTA initiative will also mobilize volunteers and supporters to participate in blood drives and to help collect equipment and supplies, including critical N95 respirator and surgical masks (facemasks). A forthcoming media advisory will provide thorough details.
“While we are deeply disappointed with Congressman Wittman’s cruel actions and betrayal of trust, we have faith in Virginia’s 1st District to rise to the challenge before us, unite with compassion and integrity, and emerge from this pandemic together.