Senator: Americans Would Be ‘Shocked’ If They Saw Where COVID-19 Relief Funds Went

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 12, 2022Updated: July 13, 2022

A Republican senator said that only about 10 percent of a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package actually went to dealing with the pandemic, asserting that American taxpayers would be alarmed by where the funds are going.

“Our office dug into it and found a lot of it interesting that much of it is just coming to the surface. … There is so much money sloshing around in that $2 trillion bill, only 10 percent of it went to COVID,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) told Fox News on Tuesday. “We’re going to see more and more of this over time. It’s part of the inflation bomb.”

About $15 million in COVID-19 recovery funds were spent on “anti-racism” initiatives and similar education programs, Braun remarked. He was referring to last year’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was signed into law by President Joe Biden.

In October of last year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal government agency, announced that $15.2 million in American Rescue Plan project grants would be handed down to “institutions across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support the role of museums and libraries in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.”

According to disclosures posted on the IMLS website, for example, the agency awarded grants to various organizations to promote the “anti-racism” agenda. In one instance, it gave the Rochester Museum and Science Center in New York about $50,000 for a field trip for students to see an exhibit that features the “story of a community-led effort to remove racist artwork from a historic carousel, as a tool for anti-racism education.”, a website dedicated to exposing critical race theory being taught in schools and colleges, says that the anti-racism agenda is closely aligned with CRT—itself an offshoot of the earlier Marxist Frankfurt School. Some IMLS grants were also given out to various institutions last year to promote “equity, diversity, and inclusion-focused STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs for pre-K through 12th-grade students in the greater Harrisburg area.”

Braun said that taxpayers would be “shocked” to know where the funding went and how much is still unspent, adding: “Now we’re seeing how it’s blowing up around the country with stuff like this. It’s no good. We’ve asked [the federal government] to tell us what is left unspent.”

“We’re going to see it little by little, because they know if they did it all at once, it would shock everybody big time. They’re not going to pull it off,” Braun continued.

Biden touted the American Rescue Plan on his first day in office last year, saying that it’s designed to “[invest] in America” to create “millions of additional good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, advancing racial equity, and building back better than before.”

The White House and Democrats largely promoted the bill as a COVID-19-related relief package, including $1,400-per-person checks and an increase in child tax credit payments.

A spokesperson for IMLS told The Epoch Times that the “American Rescue Plan Act allocated funding to IMLS to support the vital programs and services libraries, museums, federally recognized tribes, and nonprofit organizations serving Native Hawaiians provide to their communities,” adding that it “helps museums and libraries to connect, and sustain meaningful relationships, with their communities.”

” Museums and libraries provide communities with essential services and access to all kinds of health, job, government, educational, social, and cultural resources. These awards enabled museums and libraries to remain strong and relevant community institutions by responding to the challenging issues facing their communities resulting from the pandemic,” it added.