If you look up the page for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on the U.S. Treasury’s website, it states pretty clearly that the $2 trillion economic relief package was meant to provide “fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.”
That money was supposed to be going to people like restaurant workers whose jobs disappeared when lockdowns forced their places of employment to shut down. Bill Melugin of FOX 11 in Los Angeles says the country has chosen to spend millions to prop up the public relations industry instead.
A reminder that L.A. County is using some of the federal CARES Act money it receives, money that should be going to restaurants @lapublichealth just closed, to instead pay for portions of their remarkably ineffective PR firms, now costing $2.9 million. https://t.co/yL0HIDSaEZ
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 27, 2020
Los Angeles County has extended agreements with two PR firms hired to guide the county’s COVID-19 messaging and is using federal CARES Act money to offset part of the cost of their contracts, which now total $2.9 million, according to documents obtained exclusively by FOX 11.
Part of the PR firms’ duties included “recruiting celebrity influencers” to help with coronavirus messaging on social media.
Now, FOX 11 has obtained documents revealing that Mercury Public Affairs has been extended through the end of 2020 at its current rate, while Fraser Communications has been extended through June 2021 at an additional cost of $1 million.
The County is now paying both firms a total of $2.9 million, a 650% increase from when the contracts were first signed seven months ago, and according to Fraser’s contract, L.A. County is using federal CARES Act money to offset the cost of the contract through the end of 2020. County funds will pay for it through 2021.
So these PR firms are being paid millions to, in part, recruit celebrities to assist with coronavirus messaging on social media?
Credit where credit is due, L.A. County Supervisor @kathrynbarger, who was very opposed to the banning of outdoor dining, is hoping to repurpose more CARES Act money to help these struggling businesses. Supervisor Janice Hahn also stood up for businesses. Both were outvoted. https://t.co/UvXQ4KwRTo
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 27, 2020
That is a very sad truth. @lapublichealth should be ashamed.
— Maranatha Baseball (@mhsbaseballfam) November 27, 2020
This is just one example of how bureaucracies corrupt. Money going for one purpose is diverted for another. Then they cry they need more money for the original purpose.
— Vadim Bichutskiy #StopTheSteal #SinoHawk (@Stat4Real) November 27, 2020
This is criminal and every last one of these people should be held to account and fired.
— Amanda Urrego (@ajurrego) November 27, 2020
I hope they get sued and are forced to reply the money as well as fund the CARES Act for the same amount. Also whomever approved this should be charged with misuse of Public Funds.
— ErinOB (@f_peaks) November 28, 2020
More failure from the LA politicians? Horrible
— Kent Moyer (@KentMoyer) November 28, 2020
We need to start seriously planning a way to vote out these three reprehensible Supervisors as soon as they’re up for re-election (I know @mridleythomas is leaving).
Hope the @LA_GOP can put aside their bickering long enough to do something about this.
— Beatrice Cardenas (@RealBetyCardens) November 27, 2020
Every Los Angeles City Counsel Member and every County Supervisor needs to be voted out of office as soon as possible. This is a travesty.
— Powder (@Line1BSide) November 28, 2020
Hard to believe they could screw all these restaurants so blatantly without even offering a plan to aid them
Even for liberals
Thanks for your reporting Bill ??
— Reminiscences of an American Capitalist (@4Awesometweet) November 27, 2020
No wonder they want to keep us locked down. The money is too good. This is disgusting. I bet that PR FIRM is filled with people they are returning favors for.
— Soap (@philosoapie) November 28, 2020
That ghoul Ferrer shouldn't be in charge of a lemonade stand, let alone LA county health.
— Gary Castro (@EgoSumGary) November 28, 2020
So these so called experts are making the decisions to shut down LA County and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work and destroy thousands of small businesses.
— Bill Russell (@BillRus55999045) November 28, 2020
How is this not criminal activity ?
— Justin Asquith (@justinasquith) November 27, 2020
did they use the CARES act cash to pay $1B in unemployment to prisoners too?https://t.co/f9WBvt8V2K
— Bottle of Biden's Donepezil pills (@CapitalistTm) November 27, 2020
But those bureaucrats and the incompetent politicians who put them there will not be held accountable because you narcissists will literally never stop voting for democrats
You get what you deserve
— Percy (@YourFriendPercy) November 27, 2020
Imagine that, government pissing away money. What are the odds of that?
— Elrr (@Elrr18235880) November 28, 2020
And Speaker Nancy Pelosi and friends keep trying to stuff more pork into another round of supposed relief money.
Los Angeles Lakers return around $4.6 million they received in coronavirus bailout money https://t.co/8LxgMlUlRY
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 27, 2020