Pence’s Chief Of Staff Owns Lots of Stock in Companies for Coronavirus Response

Marc Short, the Chief of Staff to Mike Pence, owns stock in several companies that are doing work for the coronavirus pandemic, which could be possible conflicts of interest.

Short owns between $506,043 and $1.64 million worth of individual stocks in companies such as 3M, Abbott Laboratories, Gilead Sciences, Procter & Gamble, Medtronic, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson — all companies that have been directly affected by or involved in the work of the coronavirus task force, headed by Pence.

CVS, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Walmart and Roche, have been publicly touted by the White House for their work with the federal government on the coronavirus response, and they are also on the list of holdings by Short.

Short declared some of his holdings as potential conflicts of interest after he joined the vice president’s office, but did not divest those holdings when denied a tax break often given to government officials who must sell stock to comply with ethics laws. Watchdogs say he needs to divest his holdings to comply with the law or recuse himself from decisions that may affect his personal finances.

It is unclear whether Short has participated in any government decisions that could affect those companies, but on two recent occasions his job has led him to mention companies in which he owns stock.

See more details on this story at NPR.