MEDIA REPORTS OF
REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM UNDER THREAT OF PERMANENT CLOSURE DUE TO COVID-19 IN ERROR
On April 1, 2020, FOX 11 News erroneously published a story stating that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which is run by the National Archives and Records Administration, was preparing to close its doors permanently, due to a lack of funds tied to the Coronavirus pandemic. That story is false as are the numerous versions of it published by several other news outlets.
The erroneous news story in question ran with a headline stating, “Ronald Reagan Library on Brink of Closing its Doors for Good Due to COVID19 Crisis” which is incorrect. While it is true that the National Archives and Records Administration notified the public on March 13 that all Presidential Libraries, including the Reagan Library, would close temporarily effective at 5:00 p.m. that day until further notice due to precautions related to Covid-19, any inference that this closure might be permanent is patently untrue. Additionally, the same FOX 11 news story also stated erroneously that “without a quick infusion of cash donations, the library and museum won't survive.” This statement is false as well.
The erroneous story stemmed from the news media's misreading of a letter sent following the Library's temporary closure to its members which specified that every week the museum remains closed, it loses about $150,000 in revenue from admissions, concessions, events and other on-site sales. That fundraising letter stated, “our operations moving forward is dependent upon the generosity of friends like you.”
“Suffice it to say that it's true that the Reagan Library and Museum's operations moving forward is dependent on the generosity of its many donors, 365 days a year and in good times or bad, as is the case with nearly every nonprofit organization and museum in the country today,” said John Heubusch, the Reagan Foundation's executive director. “While it is true that we're currently not earning revenue from admissions to our museum, we're raising more than sufficient funds from our supporters re-open our doors as soon as it's safe to do so for our visitors and the federal government allows.”
The Reagan Library and Museum and the Reagan Foundation and Institute are both viable organizations that will not need to permanently close their doors due to the Coronavirus crisis or the current economic state of our country.
THE REAGAN FOUNDATION AND LIBRARY:
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the nonprofit organization created by President Reagan himself and specifically charged by him with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles - individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. The Foundation is a non-partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion and the award-winning Discovery Center, as well as the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s work in Washington, D.C.
The Reagan Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President and his First Lady.