The photograph of Senator Bernie Sanders clad in mittens and a parka at Joe Biden’s inauguration recently took the internet by storm. Multiple memes and jokes have been doing the rounds on social media for the past week, with several celebrities such as Priyanka Chropra Jonas, Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker, also participating in the trend. 

On Wednesday, the 79-year-old Senator from the state of Vermont announced that he has raised $1.8 million for charity through sales of merchandise that features the infamous image of him, sitting at a chair, wearing the mittens at the January 20 ceremony.

“Jane and I were amazed by all the creativity shown by so many people over the last week, and we’re glad we can use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need,” Sanders said in a statement to CBS News. 

Also read: Bernie Sanders’ US Presidential inauguration mittens sadly cannot be bought online 

“But even this amount of money is no substitute for action by Congress,” he added, referring to the Congress’ efforts to pass a sizeable COVID-19 RELIEF package.

“I will be doing everything I can in Washington to make sure working people in Vermont and across the country get the relief they need in the middle of the worst crisis we’ve faced since the Great Depression,” said the Senator.

The first lot of the “Chairman Sanders” merchandise sold out 30 minutes after the items became available online on Thursday. There are still several weeks of backlogs of orders. 

The school teacher from Vermont, who made those mittens out of recycled sweaters and gifted them to the Senator, also made headlines when she declared that she would not be able to fulfill the hundreds of thousands of orders she had received for the ‘swittens’ post the event.