Ivanka Trump, a senior White House advisor and vocal advocate of social distancing, is having some trouble taking her own advice. As people across the country and the world are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus, the eldest Trump daughter and White House senior advisor skirted these guidelines during a recent trip to New Jersey for Passover, according to The New York Times.
Millions of Americans celebrating the Jewish holiday this year had to change their plans with the new federal guidelines in place, either cancelling or celebrating remotely with family and friends. But that didn’t stop Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner — who is also a senior adviser to the president — and their three children from traveling 200 miles to the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
According to the New York Times report, two people with knowledge of their travel plans noted that the family went to Bedminster to celebrate the first night of Passover seder together. Ivanka reportedly remained in New Jersey with her children and has been working from the club, while Kushner returned to the White House to help the President strategize further plans around the pandemic.
Just last month, the eldest Trump daughter was advocating for social distancing in a video she shared on Twitter. “It goes without saying that this will be an enormous challenge for all of us, individually and collectively,” Trump said. “But those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so. Each and every one of us plays a role in slowing the spread, and social distancing saves lives.”
Before their trip to New Jersey, Trump was working from the White House and her D.C. home. Upon Kushner's return to the White House, he made himself a central player in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response efforts — despite reports that his influence during the pandemic has caused more harm than good. Ivanka, on the other hand, will reportedly take on another role in the COVID-19 response, spearheading the White House’s small business recovery initiative, which she will apparently now do from Bedminster.
The First Daughter has attended two remote calls this week with business leaders the president is consulting as he seeks to reopen the U.S. economy in early May, despite social distancing guidelines.
“During recent weeks, Ivanka has been meeting on the phone with members of Congress and CEOs of the country's major financial institutions in the run up to and the launch of the [Paycheck Protection Program],” a White House official told CNN. She is reportedly working with financial institutions to support small businesses, which have taken a hit as a result of the pandemic. The Trump administration began rolling out its $349 billion PPP loan program last week, and requested an additional $251 billion in funds.
The eldest Trump daughter has reportedly reached out to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Visa, Mastercard, Grand Rapids State Bank, and Community Spirit Bank to provide additional relief to small businesses.
While both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner seem to be biding their pandemic time separately for now, the response to their recent back-and-forth travels has been less than flattering for members of the White House and the First Family who've consistently touted social distancing rules. It remains to be seen when Ivanka and her children plan to travel back to reunite with Kushner, though it won't come as much of a surprise if they do make the trek before travel advisories and city-wide shutdowns are lifted.