Trump Admin Reportedly Using $300 Million in Health Department Funds for PR Campaign

Trump Admin Reportedly Using $300 Million in Health Department Funds for PR Campaign

A report in Politico on Friday details one expensive strategy the Trump administration is pursuing to tout its response to the coronavirus pandemic: a $300 million public relations campaign to “defeat despair.”

The series of ads starring Dennis Quaid, among others, was conceived by Michael Caputo, a staunch Trump defender and former spokesperson of the Department of Health and Human Services. Caputo has no medical or scientific background.

HHS has claimed the PR campaign doesn’t have anything to do with Trump’s reelection, even though the agency’s plan is to launch the ads just before Election Day. Democrats are currently investigating the campaign.

“CDC hasn’t yet done an awareness campaign about COVID guidelines — but they are going to pay for a campaign about how to get rid of our despair? Run by political appointees in the press shop? Right before an election?” former Obama HHS official Josh Peck told the outlet. “It’s like every red flag I could dream of.”

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.