White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham posted an image of the $100,000 check from Trump to HHS Secretary Alex Azar – who then brandished it at a briefing on the crisis.
‘I’m also very pleased to announce that the president of the United States has donated his quarterly check to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS to fund the coronavirus preparedness and response activity. so it’s very nice to see that check,’ Azar told a briefing at the White House from which TV cameras and audio broadcasts had been banned.
The quarterly salary donation has been a feature of Trump’s presidency, often accompanied by claims that the media ignore it.
‘President @realDonaldTrump made a commitment to donate his salary while in office. Honoring that promise and to further protect the American people, he is donating his 2019 Q4 salary to @HHSGov to support the efforts being undertaken to confront, contain, and combat #Coronavirus,’ Grisham tweeted Tuesday.
The money to help with the coronavirus spreading comes as nine people died in the U.S. after contracting the virus this week – all in Washington state.
Before Saturday, there has been no deaths in the U.S. related to the virus.
There are now more than 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus in America and thousands worldwide spread across all continents, except Antarctica.
Trump traveled Tuesday afternoon to the national Institute of Health as he continues to mobilize a reaction to the outbreak.
He returned to the White House a few hours later with Azar and the country’s top immunologist Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH.
The trio spoke to the press before entering the White House.
Trump also plans to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia this week.
Trump pledged when entering office to donate his quarterly presidential salary, which amounts to $100,000, and since the start of his presidency has donated the lump sum to various government agencies.
Previously, Trump donated his salary to the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. He also has allocated his salary to go toward agencies assisting in fighting the opioid crisis.
Last week, the Trump administration submitted a $2.5 billion supplemental funding request to Congress to fight the spread of coronavirus, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticised the amount for being insufficient.
Instead, lawmakers said the amount should be somewhere around $8 billion – and a vote on the package is expected this week.