White House Woes: The Gift Shop is Selling Coronavirus Coins For $125
On Wednesday, the internet was abuzz because whitehousegiftshop.com, a site run by a private Pennsylvania company, was seen to be selling commemorative coins to celebrate “everyday heroes” of the coronavirus pandemic. At first, people believed the White House itself was selling the coins. Not the case, though.
While the White House gift shop was originally a part of the Secret Service when it was established in 1946, it has since been run by a private Pennsylvania outfit with zero affiliation with the White House or any Administration. However, it speaks to the grifting nature of the political times in which we live that anyone would deem such an endeavor appropriate.
The site says that all proceeds from the coins will go to benefit “five major COVID-19 research hospitals.” Whether this is true or not certainly remains to be seen. The original White House Gift Shop and the Secret Service Benefit Defense Fund are long gone as far as the federal government is concerned.
That did not stop the anger of Twitter users, though. Even Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted about it:
If the White House Gift Shop is going to produce $100 COVID-19 coins, Trump can sure as hell utilize the Defense Production Act to manufacture the gloves, gowns, and masks our medical workers desperately need. https://t.co/Wr6Y1uwG0i
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 29, 2020
But the larger story here is not that the internet got it wrong. In fairness, the site selling the coins looks like it could easily be affiliated with the real federal government at first glance. Further, it simply speaks to the times in which we are living, and the nature of the Trump Administration’s constant grifting. The fact that people thought this was plausible at all cannot be overlooked.
Perhaps most disgraceful is that the owner of the website, obvious Trump supporters, sees nothing wrong with this.