In an attempt to boost the spirits of a nation beset by school closures, job losses and mounting death tolls caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Ivanka Trump has taken to social media to post cheerful images of camp-outs with her three children and notes addressing the challenges of parents taking on the role of teacher.
But like her father, President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump is sending mixed messages about her understanding of the plight of ordinary Americans, especially with one of her latest COVID-19-related social media posts.
The White House senior advisor Wednesday evening shared a cute video of her children — Arabella, 8, Joseph, 6, and Theodore, 4 — standing at a sink and diligently scrubbing their hands while singing the alphabet song together. Ivanka Trump captions the video with this message: “We ALL have a role to play to slow the spread!”
It’s a sweet enough video, with the boys in stripes and Arabella in a heart-print T-shirt.
But an eagle-eyed writer at the Daily Mail noticed that the brand of soap the Kushner kids are using is Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, a “luxury brand,” according to Business Insider.
It retails for $39 for a 17-ounce bottle at Nordstrom or Bergdorf Goodman. Lucky buyers might be able to purchase it from Walmart for a steal at $36.99. Still, that price likely puts it out of reach for many Americans, especially those worried about the current economic uncertainty.
A Business Insider list of best hand soaps for killing the coronavirus, reviewed by an infectious disease expert, puts Aesop hand soap at the bottom of its list because it is, well, “very expensive,” as compared to a six-pack of 11-ounce bottles of highly reliable Softsoap, which sells on Amazon for $17.
That is, if Softsoap and other hand soaps, discount or otherwise, are available. As many Americans have found, many necessities — soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels and, most especially, toilet paper — are currently out of stock, unavailable at stores or can only be delivered days later than expected.
The Daily Mail points out that Ivanka is a bit late to the celebrity hand-washing message. Over the past several weeks, other famous people, including Savannah Guthrie, have shared similar messages about the importance of handwashing in slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Other people watching the video were bothered by the way no one reminded Arabella, Joseph, and Theodore to turn off the water, which runs during the entire video. It’s a hard thing to watch, especially if you’re a drought-trained Californian.
“Omg look how much water you wasted daaamn,” one person commented. “Close the tap!” wrote another.
At least Ivanka Trump acknowledged the mistake. She shared the admonition that people should “turn off the sink with your elbow or a towel while you do to save” and then explained, “still a work in progress with these guys 10 days in.”
Adding a discordant note: The the video was likely shot in Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s $5.5 million rental mansion in Washington D.C., where they moved in early 2017 to work in her father’s White House.
If so, that makes Ivanka Trump the latest rich and famous person, like Gal Gadot and her “Imagine”-singing celebrity friends, to post a self-congratulatory video about surviving shelter in place — while staying in a spacious, well-appointed home with a well-stocked pantry.
Others have found Ivanka’s coronavirus messages to be tone-deaf, given that many working parents are worried about getting laid off, scrambling to find childcare or be their children’s teachers, or terrified by the slow roll-out of coronavirus tests. Ivanka Trump, the Daily Mail reported, was able to return to work last week — after getting a test and learning she was negative.
Model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen may not be a struggling working parent, but she nonetheless took aim at Ivanka’s lighthearted tweet (featuring an old photo) about having a family camp-out while being in lockdown. “After we quote pack unquote sandwiches can we please have Covid tests,” she tweeted.
after we quote pack unquote sandwiches can we please have Covid tests https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/1239892800138813446 …
Staying home today w/ kids?
Plan living room camp out!
Throw a bedsheet over some taped together brooms. Plan a menu & ‘pack’ sandwiches, salads (S’mores optional????)
A fun activity that also brings family together for a meal!
Another issue with Ivanka Trump’s handwashing video is that it was posted amid devastating economic news. One of the roles in her White House portfolio has been “workforce development.” In December, her father infamously made the dubious claim that Ivanka had single-handedly created 14 million jobs for the U.S. economy.
“14 million people she’s gotten jobs for,” Trump said in a White House speech on paid family leave. “Her goal when she started it two years ago was 500,000 jobs. She’s done over 14 million, so that’s really something.”
Vox and numerous other outlets subsequently challenged the 14 million jobs assertion, noting, among other things, that the entire American economy only added 6.2 million between Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration and the end of November 2019.
Whatever job gains Ivanka Trump has taken credit for during her father’s tenure will likely be offset by today’s slumping economy and the torrent of job losses soon expected to hit nearly every sector.
A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and tens of millions of other jobs could disappear, at least temporarily, according to Market Watch.
The Mercury News: Coronavirus: Ivanka Trump shows kids using luxury $39 soap to wash hands
Hollywood Life: Ivanka Trump Faces Backlash After KidsWash Hands With $39 Soap As Millions Lose
MEAWW: Ivanka Trump slammed for making her children wash hands with $39 soap as millions lose jobs due to coronavirus
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Of World Bank Photo Collection’s Flickr – Creative Commons License