The White House gift shop unveiled its contribution to the fight against COVID-19 on Wednesday, with a new commemorative coin that presents the pandemic in the war-like terms that Trump often uses on Twitter and in press conferences.
“World vs. Virus,” says the message on one side of the coin, along with several phrases written in Trump-style capital letters.
“Together We FOUGHT the UNSEEN Enemy,” the text on the coin says. “Everyday HEROES suited up.”
The coin shows an image of the world map with a big, colourful coronavirus hovering in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The flip side of the coin shows the White House press briefing room where Trump has made some of his more memorable contributions to the fight. Those contributions have included pushing unproven drug treatments, predicting that the virus will disappear in warm weather and wondering if humans can be cured by injecting disinfectant into their bodies.
One ring around the image features the names of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Another ring includes names from Trump’s coronavirus task force, including Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Williams and, for some reason, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. The coin does not include the name of Alex Azar, Trump’s health secretary.
The coins are part of a series that commemorates some of Trump’s big moments in office. Other coins pay tribute to moments such as his meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The “LIMITED EDITION COIN COINS,” as the gift shop calls them, will be shipped on June 15.
More than 58,000 Americans have already died to date, eclipsing the country’s death toll from the Vietnam War. Health experts have not supported Trump’s wishful thinking about the virus disappearing in the warm weather, and they’ve frequently warned that the world could face a “second wave” in the fall.
Nevertheless, the coins are being sold to commemorate this “historical” moment this summer, the White House gift shop says.
The coins are being sold for US$100 or $125 after they are released.
All profits will be donated to “five major COVID-19 research hospitals,” the site says.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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