Ivanka Trump has been mocked for saying she is using the coronavirus pandemic to learn how to play the guitar, just a few days after it was reported that eight million Americans have fallen into poverty since May.
During an interview on Monday, Ms Trump, 38, who serves as an adviser to her father, president Donald Trump, revealed she has started learning guitar over the last few months.
“For a lot of us during this pandemic, we’ve reconnected to some of life’s simple pleasures — board games, for example. We’ve dusted off all of ours for sure,” she said.
“I took up playing guitar, because my husband [senior adviser to President Trump, Jared Kushner] was working very late nights, I would come home and put the kids to bed and after I went back online and finished my work, I’d be sitting there.
“So I taught myself, or I am teaching myself how to play guitar,” Ms Trump added.
After footage of her interview was uploaded to social media, the 38-year-old was mocked by Twitter users, who felt her comments were “tone-deaf”.
Twitter user @EricDKoch responded to Ms Trump’s comments by highlighting the loss of life during the pandemic, writing: “That’s cool, 24,000 New York City residents died.”
At least 23,994 Americans have died in New York City due to coronavirus, while the US death toll has reached at least 220,185. More than 8.2 million have tested positive for coronavirus in the US as a whole.
User @mymothrsdaughtr criticised Ms Trump, saying: “So great for you. The rest of us have been taking care of our kids at home while we work and helping food banks distribute food.
“So glad you can relax and enjoy. You’re such an example.”
User @Monkeymion added: “How sweet. I’ve been jumping from foot to foot trying to keep my business afloat while also trying to create new merchandise and artwork with no operating capital to produce said products. But hey, Vanky got some nice downtime.”
While @ReddogOHIO wrote: “Lucky she doesn’t have to worry about rent or food,” and @caguirre94 simply responded: “Tone deaf”.
Ms Trump’s comments came a few days after the release of a Columbia University study, which showed that the number of Americans living in poverty has grown by eight million since May.
The study found that the federal Cares Act, which gave Americans a one-time stimulus check of $1,200 (£927.11) and unemployed workers an extra $600 (£463.56) each week, was effective until it ended a couple of months ago, according to NBC News.
The stimulus package prevented 18 million people from going into poverty in April, but by September that number had decreased to just four million.
“We find that the monthly poverty rate increased from 15 per cent to 16.7 per cent from February to September 2020, even after taking the CARES Act’s income transfers into account,” the study’s researchers wrote.
“Increases in monthly poverty rates have been particularly acute for Black and Hispanic people, as well as for children,” they added.
On Tuesday, house speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats and the White House have moved closer to a coronavirus stimulus deal, which they hope to have passed before 3 November’s election.
The two sides have already agreed to send more direct payments to Americans, to offer a second loan to struggling businesses, and to reinstate a supplemental unemployment benefit for people unemployed due to the pandemic.