Ivanka Trump has revealed that she is rereading The Odyssey and learning to play guitar in her free time while describing her self-quarantine experience as similar to "pretty much every parent around the country" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, President Trump’s eldest daughter appeared on Yahoo Finance to take part in a remote interview, where she discussed her father’s plans for the country as well as the steps she’s taken to help curb the spread of the virus.
Describing herself as a “pretty strong advocate of social distancing from a personal practise perspective,” Ms Trump said she has been working from home and “doing as much telephonically as possible”.
However, according to the mother-of-three, who shares children Arabella, Theodore and Joseph with husband Jared Kushner, it hasn’t necessarily been easy for the entire family to stay home, as the children are “growing more restless by the day” - an experience Ms Trump believes “pretty much every parent around the country is going through”.
“It's unique times but I’m trying to reframe all of it through the lens of the joy of having this family connectivity, even if it is sometimes taxing,” the 38-year-old said.
The social distancing practises haven’t kept Ms Trump, who works as senior advisor to the president, from finding opportunities to “expand her mind,” however, as she told Yahoo’s Sibile Marcellus that she’s been using newly free time during her evenings and weekends that would normally have been spent at a work-related commitment or school function to “explore things I normally wouldn't have prioritised”.
“So I've got a Coursera free course going in Greek and Roman mythology so I'm rereading The Odyssey, and I’ve started to learn to play the guitar,” Ms Trump said. “And now I'm really working on it, as I sit with my kids when they are sleeping or napping. That's what I'm doing.”
Ms Trump's quarantine experience prompted people on social media to accuse the White House advisor of being "tone-deaf".
"Ivanka (she's just like us!!) plans on rereading The Odyssey and learning about mythology during the quarantine," one person tweeted. "I actually had to watch the interview to make sure someone could could be so absolutely tone-deaf."
Earlier in the interview, the first daughter also revealed the ways in which she is doing her part to help small businesses in the country that are struggling economically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Explaining that she has heard from “so many people” that have helped businesses by “prepaying for a service that they know they’re going to avail themselves of sometime in the next six to 12 months,” Ms Trump said she’s done the same for her local dry cleaner and local florist.
“I did it on a personal level with my local dry cleaner and my local florist just to sort of assist in a small way during this time,” she said.
The description of Ms Trump’s experience amid the health crisis comes after she was criticised for advising other families about activities they can do during quarantine.
“Staying home today with kids? Plan living room camp out!” Ms Trump tweeted on 17 March. “Throw a bed sheet over some taped together brooms. Plan a menu and ‘pack’ sandwiches, salads (S’mores optional [😜] ). A fun activity that also brings family together for a meal! Share your ideas and use the hashtag #TogetherApart.”
At the time, critics accused Ms Trump of not taking into consideration her family’s financial advantages and privileges.
“Congratulations on being rich and being married to a guy actually profiting off this catastrophe,” one person tweeted in response. “There are actually people suffering. Without enough food. Without nannies or cooks or cleaning people to help with the kids. Who are forced to work or risk losing their job/business.”
According to the latest figures, there have been 189,661 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, with more than 4,000 deaths attributed to the virus.