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Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked the Senate Ethics Committee on Friday to review his recent stock sell-offs.

What he's saying: Burr claimed that the trades, which came before the market crashed amid coronavirus fears, occurred because he "closely followed CNBC's daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time."

"I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13. Specifically, I closely followed CNBC's daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time. Understanding the assumption many could make in hindsight, however, I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency."

The state of play: Burr sold between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his stocks on Feb. 13, days after writing a Fox News op-ed that said the U.S. is "better prepared than ever before" to face the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The sales included stocks in several companies that were set to be hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, including in the hotel and hospitality industries.
  • Reuters reported on Feb. 27 that, as Senate Intel chairman, Burr had been receiving daily updates from the intelligence community about the outbreak.
  • He also told a private luncheon of constituents in February that the coronavirus is "much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history."

Read Burr's letter.

Go deeper: Trump brushes off coronavirus as reason for stock market plunge

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the Saturday Night Live treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.

Lawmakers call for Israel-Hamas ceasefire amid aerial bombardments

Combination images of Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and 28 Senate Democrats on Sunday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fighting continued into the night.

Driving the news: Young, a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, joined panel Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in a bipartisan statement saying: "Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas' rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.

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