A 'White House Gift Shop' selling Covid-19 commemorative coins for $100 has caused huge confusion

Greg Evans
Thursday 30 April 2020 09:15
news

Confusion has arisen after a White House gift shop appeared to be selling commemorative coins celebrating the Trump administration's response to coronavirus.

A website called whitehousegiftshop.com is currently selling two coins for $100.00 each with all proceeds going towards reportedly going to "five major Covid-19 research hospitals".

"World vs Virus"
"Together we FOUGHT the UNSEEN enemy"
"Everyday HEROES suited up"
"Everyday CITIZENS did their part"

The coins feature an image of Covid-19 placed over a picture of the globe and the podium that Trump's coronavirus task force have used during the pandemic to address the press.

Picture:(The White House Gift Shop)

They also feature the names of the task force including Trump, Mike Pence, Dr Fauci and Dr Birx with the other coin featuring the words:​

Images of the coins have been circulated on social media with people irate that the White House would make a piece of merchandise about a deadly pandemic that has claimed more than 3 million lives worldwide.

Even senator Bernie Sanders has shared a story from The Daily Beast about the coins, calling on Trump to use the Defense Production Act to provide more PPE for healthcare workers.

However, these coins are not being sold by the official White House gift shop but an unofficial shop that has no affiliation with the White House or the Trump administration.

The website which features the White House logo and even a USA.gov seal but actually belongs to a private for-profit company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and as Business Insider reports has ties dating back to president Harry Truman in the 1940s.

A report into the gift shop published by Talking Points Memo in May 2018 found that it is now run by a man named Tony Giannini and has been subsequently granted a trademark request due to its previous association with the White House. It also claims to be 'the only original official White House Gift Shop' which 'continues support Law Enforcement Departments or Agencies.'

With all that in mind, it's easy to see how people got caught out by this website with Democratic strategist Travis Akers apologising after he claimed that the legitimate White House was selling these items.

Even though the coins are not official we do have to ask, who on Earth would actually want to buy one of these and commemorate a pandemic?

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