As the Intelligence Committee chairman, Mr. Burr receives regular briefings on threats to the United States, including the coronavirus. He is also a member of the Senate health committee, which in January hosted a briefing with top Trump administration officials open to all senators.
It is apparently not the first time Mr. Burr has acted decisively to shield his assets from financial turmoil after hearing from government officials. In 2009, he recounted in a speech how after he heard Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson discuss a major company’s difficulty moving money between banks, he called his wife and instructed her to withdraw as much cash as possible from their own accounts out of fear there would be a run on funds.
Three other senators also sold major holdings around the time Mr. Burr did, according to the disclosure records: Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who is also a member of the Intelligence Committee; James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma; and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia.
The record of Mr. Burr’s stock transaction shows he and his wife sold 33 different stocks on Feb. 13 that were collectively worth $628,000 to $1.7 million, according to the disclosures filed with the secretary of the Senate. Those sales include as much as $150,000 worth of stock in two hotel chains, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Extended Stay America. The values of both companies have declined significantly in recent weeks. He also sold as much as $65,000 worth of stock in Park Hotels & Resorts.
Mr. Inhofe sold a large amount of stock — all on Jan. 27 — including holdings in PayPal, Apple and Brookfield Asset Management, a real estate company, with the overall value of the sales totaling as much as $400,000, a disclosure report shows.
Ms. Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey C. Sprecher, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, reported 27 stock sales worth millions of dollars starting on Jan. 24. On that day, Ms. Loeffler tweeted about attending the Senate briefing on the coronavirus. The stocks the couple sold were in companies including Exxon Mobil, Ross Stores and AutoZone.