This Day in Failure: February 13

2020: North Carolina Republican Richard Burr—chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee—sells a significant percentage of his stock holdings in 33 separate transactions totaling approximately $1.6 million, soon after reassuring the public about the government’s ability to battle a coronavirus outbreak. He later comes under fire after NPR obtains a secret recording in which Burr—privy to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to the country’s national security—gave a VIP group of wealthy donors a very dire warning about the coming economic impact of coronavirus, in sharp contrast to what he told the public. Notably, too, Burr’s largest stock sales involved companies that would be particularly vulnerable in the midst of a travel slowdown, including approximately $150,000 worth of shares of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and $100,000 worth of shares in Extended Stay America, the economy hospitality chain. The stock market loses approximately 30 percent of its value in the weeks after Burr’s selloff.

Notably, too, in 2012 Burr voted against banning insider-trading for Congress, calling the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (Stock) Act “ludicrous.” Burr was only one of three senators who voted against the law.

2015: Fox 5 News (San Diego) identifies President Barack Obama as a suspect in a local rape case, then takes 48 hours to apologize for the error.

2010: Canada’s women’s Olympic hockey team defeats Slovakia 18-0, making this the most lopsided women’s hockey game in Olympic history.

2006: Toby Young, 46, a respected mother, businesswoman and philanthropist, uses her volunteer status at Lansing (Kansas) Correctional Facility to smuggle out convicted murderer John Manard, 27, who had convinced Young of his undying love for her. Twelve days later, federal authorities capture the fugitives near their getaway cabin in rural Tennessee. Young receives a 27-month sentence for her crimes; Manard earns an extra decade of prison time.