• The White House Gift Shop is selling commemorative coronavirus coins
  • Proceeds of the $100-coin are supposed to go COVID-19 hospitals
  • The online store used to be affiliated with the Secret Service but it's now a privately-owned company

A website called The White House Gift Shop is reportedly selling commemorative coronavirus coins with two designs for $100 each.

The designs carry slogans like "Everyday HEROES Suited Up" and "Together we FOUGHT The UNSEEN Enemy" along with images of the White House press podium and the coronavirus molecule. The coins have the names of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as the members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The items come with a certificate of authenticity as well as a White House coin case in black velvet.

The online store stated profits for the limited commemorative coronavirus coins are going to be donated at "five major COVID-19 research hospitals," which were not named. The website also stated the price of each coin was discounted from $125.

The White House Gift Shop is selling commemorative coronavirus coins, but the store itself is not officially affiliated with the president's office. Official White House

Critics of the Trump administration were outraged upon the discovery of the gift shop's collectors' items.

"If the White House Gift Shop is going to produce $100 COVID-19 coins, Trump can sure as hell utilize the Defense Production Act to manufacture the gloves, gowns, and masks our medical workers desperately need," former senator Bernie Sanders posted in a tweet.

Photos of the coins have been reposted and retweeted with many saying it's not fake.

However, The White House Gift Shop is not owned nor officially affiliated with the White House despite its convincing appearance. The online store is owned by a for-profit private company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

In 2018, Talking Points Memo found the paper trail documenting who owns The White House Gift Shop after it sold U.S.-North Korea summit commemorative coins and also made headlines.

According to the report, The White House Gift Shop was originally established in 1946 under President Harry Truman with the proceeds going to the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund.

However, the said foundation has been under by a private company named Giannini Strategic Enterprises (GSE), registered under Anthony Giannini, since 2011. By 2013, the vice-chairman of the benefit fund informed Giannini in a letter that the foundation would be shutting down. Thus, a full transfer of The White House Gift Shop ownership was arranged.

As a private shop, Giannini was not allowed to use the White Logo and the name for its website. However, he filed for a trademark request and argued the shop was formerly affiliated with the Secret Service and the White House.

Giannini also argued that GSE had commercial endorsement as it "paid the previous users of the mark substantial sums of money for the mark White House Gift Shop."

Eventually, GSE received permission to use the White House logo and name from the Patent and Trademark Office. It is believed to be the only entity, outside of the White House, to have such a permission.

In a 2018 interview, Giannini said the gift shop is non-partisan but he admitted he is a Trump supporter.