Why Ivanka Trump's Latest Interview Has People Seeing Red

Listen. We know the struggle is real if you have young children and you've been stuck at home with them since the pandemic began. There is home schooling to get a grip on, the cleaning, the washing up, the cooking, and even your own job to do if you have one. If, after all that, you might have a spare few hours to do anything other than stare at the wall in a fog of fatigue, you might do what "every parent" does — like Ivanka Trump

Trump admits to Yahoo Finance that her children Arabella, Theodore, and Joseph are "growing more restless by the day," but she's making the most of the situation. "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." It seems for Trump that the best time of day is when they're napping and she gets some me time — which means she has time to "explore things I normally wouldn't have prioritized. 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. 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," she said, noting that this is what "pretty much every parent around the country is going through" (via Moms).

Ivanka Trump's pandemic musings set Twitter off

In a separate video, she told an unseen audience that the pandemic had allowed her to "reconnect with life's simple pleasures [like] board games for example ... we've dusted all of ours off for sure. [And] I took up playing guitar because my husband was working very late nights, I'd come home ... after I'd put the kids to bed, and after I went online and finished my work, I'd be sitting there, so I just taught myself or I'm teaching myself to play guitar."

Social media reactions to Ivanka's pandemic-related reflections were swift and many of them harsh. One user posted: "She is so wonderful to listen to. That PERFECT ENUNCIATION, every vowel and consonant as crisp as the fall air! And those PERFECTLY MODULATED DULCET TONES! I hear her voice and punch a few walls then get out the vacuum cleaner to drown her out. She gets my house clean." 

Voters feel Ivanka Trump's comments were tone deaf

Others were even less forgiving and focused on the hardships many Americans are facing as the pandemic continues. One user tweeted: "Many Americans can't afford food & evictions are set to begin soon. Americans desperately need the Covid assistance bill the Republicans are hesitant to pass. As she spoke of learning to play the guitar it brought to mind a picture of Nero playing a fiddle while Rome burned." Another posted: "That's so great she took up playing the guitar. Maybe she could pick up another hobby for me. I just got let go from my job of 15 years yesterday bc of the pandemic. I'm going to be too busy trying to find something to help out my family. Just so Ivanka is happy. I'm good."

Financial insecurity has heightened depression during the pandemic

Much of the exasperation was directed at what people called Ivanka Trump's out-of-touch comments about life under lockdown. Back in September, a study out of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and reported by The New York Times showed that 61 percent of parents with children from ages five to seven in Massachusetts agreed that they felt "nervous, anxious, or on edge" because of the pandemic. And 63 percent of parents said they had felt they didn't have any emotional support as the pandemic raged on their doorsteps. While scientists had thought that parents were worried about getting sick, it turns out that parents are actually more worried about meeting their children's basic needs. Sixty percent of family caregivers who admitted to going through severe financial problems said they were emotionally distressed. A little over 30 percent of those who have no financial issues said they felt the same way.

A clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine, Pooja Lakshmin, said that COVID was more than a physiological illness. "This is a chronic destabilizing force to our lives, and to families and parents and children. We need to be treating this as a mental health crisis, and one that does not have an end we can see."