Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff (R) on Wednesday night challenged Republican Sen. David Perdue to explain why he publicly claimed earlier this year that the coronavirus while his financial advisers secured investements for him in a personal protective equipment manufacturer. (Image: screenshot/WALB)

'It's Not Just That You're a Crook': Watch Jon Ossoff Eviscerate Sen. Perdue Over Insider Trading, Covid Lies, and Healthcare Attacks

"You're attacking the health of the people that you represent," the Democratic challenger said to Georgia's incumbent GOP senator.

Julia Conley

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff won praise from progressives on Wednesday night after launching a "blistering attack" on Sen. David Perdue over the Republican's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia and his lies about protecting constituents' healthcare.

During the candidates' debate, after the Georgia senator resorted to criticizing Ossoff for garnering out-of-state campaign donations—as many Democratic congressional challengers have this year amid the GOP's refusal to pass legislation to aid struggling families and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic—Ossoff quickly responded by bringing up the federal investigations that were opened into Perdue's alleged insider trading after the coronavirus reached the U.S. in January. 

"You shouldn't do everything that your handlers in Washington tell you to—because you'll lose your soul along the way." —Jon Ossoff, Senate candidate

Perdue was one of several senators who used information they gained in early briefings about Covid-19 to sell and buy stocks. He has acknowledged that after a Senate briefing on Jan. 24, he bought stocks several times in a company that produced personal protective equipment, which would soon be needed in hospitals across the country. Perdue also sold several stocks around the same time. 

Meanwhile, Ossoff told debate viewers, Perdue has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus.

"It's not just that you're a crook," Ossoff said. "It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent."

Watch:

"You did say Covid-19 was no deadlier than the flu, you did say there would be no uptick in cases," added Ossoff, a media executive who narrowly lost an election for a congressional seat in 2017. "All the while, you were looking after your own assets, and your own portfolio."

In May, on a call with local business owners, Perdue defended his state's reopening by comparing the risk of contracting Covid-19 to that of getting into a car accident and said, "We've had ordinary flu seasons with more deaths than we're seeing now in this one."

At the time, about 80,000 people had died of the disease in the U.S., and Georgia had reported 1,557 cases of Covid-19 in just four months—more than the number of car accidents in the state in all of 2018. 

Recently, Perdue has offered effusive praise to President Donald Trump over his handling of the pandemic, as Trump has criss-crossed the country, claiming at rallies that the U.S. is "rounding the corner" even as the country sets single-day case records. 

"You shouldn't do everything that your handlers in Washington tell you to—because you'll lose your soul along the way," Ossoff told Perdue during the debate. 

Ossoff also attacked the senator for proposing the PROTECT Act, a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, which includes loopholes that would allow for-profit insurance companies to deny coverage for people who have pre-existing health conditions. 

"Under the bill, a person who has cancer technically could buy a plan and not be charged a higher premium due to the illness," Sarah Lueck, a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), told The Daily Poster last week. "However, his or her benefits could run out because the insurer imposes an annual or lifetime limit, or the plan might not cover the prescription medicines that treat the cancer."

"You did vote four times to end protections for pre-existing conditions," Ossoff told Perdue Wednesday night. "Can you look down the camera and tell the people of this state why you voted four times to allow insurance companies to deny us health coverage, because we may suffer from diabetes, or heart disease, or asthma, or have cancer in remission?"

As of this writing, the video of Ossoff challenging Perdue has been viewed more than three million times on Twitter.

"When your own messaging bill to protect pre-existing conditions—The PROTECT Act—includes a loophole that makes it so they’re not actually protected, you might get ethered on a debate stage like this," tweeted journalist Ryan Grim.

A poll released by Monmouth University on Wednesday found that Ossoff is leading Perdue by three percentage points, putting them in a statistical tie. The University of Georgia's most recent survey, released Sunday, showed Ossoff one point ahead of Perdue. 

"Sen. David Perdue doesn't deserve to be re-elected," tweeted Ossoff after the debate.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Argues 'We Must End the Greed of Big Pharma'

The live address comes as the Senate Budget Committee chair continues to push for including Medicare expansion and drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better package.

Common Dreams staff ·


Reconciliation Framework 'Not Enough' to Push Through Infrastructure Bill, Progressives Warn

"We need to have a vote ready for the Build Back Better plan, not a framework," insisted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "We want to have both of these votes together."

Brett Wilkins ·


McDonald's Workers Join 'Striketober' and Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment

One striker participated because "McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe."

Jessica Corbett ·


Breaking: FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Kids 5 to 11

With just one abstention, the advisory panel voted 17-0 to approve the vaccine for younger children which scientific review has deemed both safe and effective against the deadly virus.

Common Dreams staff ·


Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo