By Katie FaganAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has pledged $500 million to help combat the Zika virus, an announcement that appears to be a big step toward fulfilling his pledge to help the nation fight the pandemic.
The pledge, made Friday in an email to the Trump Organization, is a big deal because it’s the first time the foundation has directly supported a campaign in the U.S. and its first major pledge to the U, according to people familiar with the matter.
It comes as Trump is fighting to prevent a federal shutdown, which would force a federal court to block federal aid to states and cities.
In announcing the pledge, the foundation said it would provide $250 million to a nationwide nonprofit network to fight the virus.
It also will provide $150 million to other states and localities that have declared an emergency or have received federal aid, and $100 million to the United Nations, the people said.
The Trump Foundation was created to benefit charities and to promote charitable giving.
The Trump Organization said it was established to build a more charitable foundation by giving back to the nation through philanthropy and other philanthropic activities.
The $500m pledge is in addition to $25 million that the foundation already has pledged to the federal government.
The remaining $50 million will be donated by the foundation to state and local governments, according a Trump Organization official.
In the email, Trump also pledged to expand the network that is being created.
The foundation will be expanding its focus to help states and communities across the country.
The $500M pledge is a significant amount of money, and the Trump Foundation has pledged more than $500.5 million, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the fund was not publicly disclosed.
Trump also promised to expand his foundation’s global reach.
In an interview with The Associated Press last month, he said he would be investing $1 billion in an effort to help poor countries, which often lack the resources to fight diseases like the Zika.
He said the $1.5 billion would include $1-billion in direct donations.
A foundation spokeswoman declined to comment.
Trump’s campaign has sought to distance itself from the billionaire philanthropist.
He told The Associated by email that his foundation is not involved in political campaigns.
Trump did not return messages left by phone and email.
In its announcement, the Trump foundation said the money would go toward the foundation’s work to fight Zika.
The foundation will spend the money on “advocacy and education programs to empower communities to improve their health and lives through science and technology, public health, education, and philanthropy.”
The foundation also pledged $100,000 for “medical research and development, including vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, to support the fight against the pandemics.”
Trump has spent more than a decade as a prominent donor to charitable causes.
He has given nearly $200 million to charitable groups and foundations and has contributed more than 5 million to his presidential campaign.