WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump donated his fourth-quarter 2019 salary to the Department of Health and Human Services, where it will be used to "support the efforts being undertaken to confront, contain, and combat Coronavirus," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday.
This is not the first time Trump has donated his salary to an agency facing an urgent problem. Since taking office, Trump has directed his $400,000 annual salary to a different agency each quarter.
Previous donations have gone to, among others, the Office of the Surgeon General to help combat the opioid epidemic, to the Department of Homeland Security to help build a wall on the southern border, and to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, to help combat alcoholism.
Alcoholism contributed to the death of Trump's older brother, Fred Trump Jr.
Trump's decision to donate his salary back to the government each quarter fulfills a campaign promise he made in 2016. As the wealthiest man in the modern era to occupy the office of president, Trump is in a unique position to do this. In 2018, the most recent year for which figures are available, Trump reported earning a minimum of $434 million in annual income on his federal ethics forms.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the coronavirus had killed nine Americans, all in Washington state, and more than 100 Americans had tested positive since the outbreak was first confirmed in the United States in late February. Worldwide, more than 91,000 cases have been reported, including more than 3,100 deaths.