Fact Check: Kennedy Center Did NOT Give DNC $5M After Getting $25M In Relief From Coronavirus Stimulus

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Kennedy Center Did NOT Give DNC $5M After Getting $25M In Relief From Coronavirus Stimulus Wrong

Did the Kennedy Center give the Democratic National Committee $5 mllion after getting $25 million in relief from the government coronavirus stimulus package? No, that's not true: The Kennedy Center did not give the DNC $5 million the day after being awarded $25 million, despite posts on social media claiming that this was the case.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) on Facebook on March 29, 2020, under the title "Why did we give the Kennedy Center 25 mil?" It read:

The Kennedy Center Timeline:
Completes a $250 M renovation 2019: Receives $41 M from taxpayers Yesterday: Gets $25 M from Relief Bill Today: Tells musicians it will stop paying them Donates $5 M to the DNC The Kennedy Center launders taxpayer money for the Democrats.

Social Media Users saw this

The post, and many like it, claims The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts gave $5 million to the DNC the day after being told they would receive $25 million in the Congressional stimulus aimed at rejuvinated an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States, which has more cases globally than any other country, is under a national emergency as declared by President Trump.

In fact, the government relief funds have not be delivered to anyone or any group yet, so the post's claims would be impossible. Still, the story went viral on Facebook, with each post earning hundreds of likes and shares.

For example, Facebook user Tim Boyer slammed the money in the stimulus bill, posting:

Once it started getting shared, the posts drew angy commenters furious about reports - now shown to be fake - that the Kennedy Center was giving $5 million to the DNC.

User Cari Kelemen appears to have fueled the fake news in a tweet that went viral.

She incorrectly told her 44,000 followers that the Kennedy Center, the performing arts conglomeration in Washington, DC, donated $5 million to the DNC the day after getting a deposit of $25 million from the government.

Kelemen followed her first Tweet up with her theory about how Planned Parenthood "launders taxpayer money for the Democrats."

Twenty-two hours after her first tweet, Kelemen "clarified" her statement to say she had written about a "next-step hypothetical," but didn't acknowledge her own, original words were false.

On March 29, Kelemen wrote:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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