The Trump campaign has been anonymously donating meals to hospitals in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, including New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Washington state, according to a report on April 2.
Fox News political reporter Brooke Singman reported that President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has been placing the orders since March 26.
“They’re doing it as a donor who cares,” a source was quoted as saying. “So nothing politically is tied to it. … We’re just trying to, you know, show a thank you.”
“They’re trying to send things that are like, local restaurants that may need support [and] cool restaurant icons of the area that may need the business,” a source said.
Singman tweeted that the Trump campaign “has been quietly calling local restaurants and ordering large amounts of food to be delivered to hospitals in an effort to feed doctors, nurses & first responders and support local restaurants.”
EXCLUSIVE: @realDonaldTrump‘s campaign has been quietly calling local restaurants and ordering large amounts of food to be delivered to hospitals in an effort to feed doctors,nurses& first responders and support local restaurants #coronavirus #COVID19 https://t.co/6A3Zfe5QEz
— Brooke Singman (@BrookeSingman) April 2, 2020
She reported that the Chit Chat Diner in Hackensack, New Jersey, was one of the beneficiaries of the Trump campaign’s new initiative.
“An anonymous donation providing lunch to some hardworking staff at Hackensack Hospital this afternoon. We are so grateful,” the restaurant posted on Instagram earlier this week.
Another order, from Antonio’s Trattoria, was for 100 individuals to be delivered to the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.
“It was 20 penne vodkas, 20 pastas with tomato sauce, 30 chicken parmesans, and 30 house salads with grilled chicken,” the manager told Fox News. “He only gave his first name and said he wanted to remain anonymous.”
A source said the president’s campaign has spent tens of thousands of dollars at restaurants and plans to expand the effort.
On Wednesday, Trump encouraged Congress to change the tax laws in order to help restaurants bounce back quicker from the imposed coronavirus shutdown.
“Congress must pass the old, and very strongly proven, deductibility by businesses on restaurants and entertainment,” he wrote.
“This will bring restaurants, and everything related, back – and stronger than ever. Move quickly, they will all be saved!”
Congress must pass the old, and very strongly proven, deductibility by businesses on restaurants and entertainment. This will bring restaurants, and everything related, back – and stronger than ever. Move quickly, they will all be saved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2020
The Hill reported that the 2017 Republican tax reform law “revoked a provision allowing corporations to make annual tax deductions for entertainment expenses and limited deductions that could be made for meals.”
Internal Revenue Service guidance issued in 2018 indicated companies could deduct up to 50 percent of business meal expenses as long as they were not considered “lavish.”
At a Rose Garden news conference on March 29, Trump said he had discussed the idea with restaurateur Wolfgang Puck.
“I think it’ll have a tremendous impact and maybe keep them open,” the president told reporters. “Some are closing right now, despite the fact that they could be open in the not-too-distant future, and we expect that.
“But there are some that aren’t going to be able to get open, and we want to make sure they do.”
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