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Kennedy Center defends $25 million windfall from coronavirus bill — but the internet isn't buying it


'How many more people could have been helped with this money?'

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., defended a controversial $25 million windfall budgeted in the emergency coronavirus bill, but many on social media rejected its attempt to justify the funds.

Republicans were outraged when it was reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was demanding funding for projects completely unrelated to the pandemic in the coronavirus emergency bill.

On Thursday, one of the beneficiaries tried to justify the expenditure.

"Like other cultural organizations and performing arts centers around the country, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been negatively impacted by the current coronavirus pandemic," read the statement from the Kennedy Center.

"Because the Center was created by an Act of Congress and we exist as a living presidential memorial, the Center's economic model is different than most arts organizations," the statement continued.

"The ability to deliver on our mandated mission is at risk. As a result, federal relief funding is the only way we will be in a position to reopen the nation's cultural center when our government officials tell us it is safe to do so," they concluded.

The brutal response

Many on social media rejected the attempt to justify the taxpayer-funded expenditure.

"The Kennedy Center is no more deserving of money than any other theater that is about to go under," said David Harsyani of National Review.

"How many more people could have been helped with this money?" asked former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

"I had no idea that life couldn't go on without the .. Kennedy center. A vital part of the American economy....?!" commented Amy Otto.

"$25 million to the Kennedy Center would pay the March electric bill for 206,611 North Carolina households. Working class? The last time Speaker Pelosi recognized someone from the working class was the seamstress in La Bohème," snarked Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.).

Others, like David Martosko of the Daily Mail, said the expenditure was "easily justifiable" because first lady Melania Trump was an honorary chairwoman of the board of trustees.

Here's more about the coronavirus bill:

'The Five' rips Pelosi for pushing unnecessary proposals in coronavirus bill

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