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Ivanka Trump's alternative universe

First daughter Ivanka Trump takes on more responsibility as she also serves as senior adviser to the President.

Posted: Aug 28, 2020 5:51 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2020 5:51 PM

In a week that has seen the President's daughter hawk beans on her social media account, and unveil a jobs assistance program in the midst of a global pandemic with the awkward moniker of "Find Something New," Ivanka Trump once again finds herself in the middle of a heap of criticism.

The country has been wracked by a seemingly never-ending fight against the coronavirus pandemic: more than 130,000 dead, more than 3 million US cases and on the horizon, parents grapple with whether to trust federal advice on sending children back to school.

Yet, it can sometimes seem that Ivanka Trump is living in an alternate universe. She kicked off July with a string of images on her social media accounts featuring a luxe family trip to Wyoming, all horseback rides and sunny, stream-side picnics dressed in Ralph Lauren-esque ensembles.

Cautions about travel as coronavirus cases rise? Not for the Kushner-Trumps, apparently.

Since the onset of her time in the White House, where Trump is a senior adviser to her father, the President, Ivanka Trump has faced myriad questions about her judgment stemming from the blithe manner in which she appears to operate.

To be fair, it's not necessarily the work that she is doing -- much of which has brought positive spotlights to things like combating human trafficking, helping families with a child care tax credit, figuring ways to help boost employment numbers and assisting with women's global economic empowerment.

The problem is more the way she picks and chooses when not to weigh in -- and, when she does, how to do so.

On Tuesday, she may have violated a government ethics rule by posting the photograph of herself, holding a can of beans, close to her face as one might in a commercial or advertisement, with the caption: "If it's Goya, it has to be good," and translating the same phrase to Spanish.

Goya's CEO, Robert Unanue, is an outspoken fan of the President, and his public comments of support have led to boycotts of the brand. Not so the Trump family, however, who have made the beans biz a robust talking point likely not seen since, well, ever.

The United States Office of Government Ethics, which is aimed at "preventing conflicts of interest in the executive branch," has guidelines on endorsing products, something Trump was clearly doing in her post.

The timing of Ivanka Trump's Goya plug came on a day she had already been roundly lambasted on social media and by news outlets for the "Find Something New" ad campaign, launched that morning in conjunction with the AdCouncil and several private corporations.

While Trump touted the ads and the website as a resource for people unemployed, or unhappy with their current jobs, to find a fresh career, critics shot back in disbelief at the tag line of the program. "Find Something New" -- as though doing so for the 18 million unemployed Americans could be easily accomplished with a few clicks on their computer.

The roll out also felt to many as though there was little to no regard for the loss of jobs loved and struggled to achieve, gone in an instant at the hands of a shutdown forced by a gnarly pandemic. Trump, dressed in a white, $2,000 outfit by London-based designer Emilia Wickstead, (and toting a $4,700 purse by French fashion house Chanel), addressed a virtual roundtable by calling the need to possibly seek new work a "pivot."

Later, Trump cheerily addressed the campaign's initiatives during a video message from the White House Rose Garden.

"You have to check it out, it's amazing!" says Trump of the "find something new" website, smiling to the camera. There's no note of empathy for those whose livelihoods are lost, whose paychecks have gone away or whose families are struggling to keep afloat.

It's a disconnect Trump, the daughter of a billionaire and herself a millionaire, has been accused of perpetrating before.

In March, as most Americans adapted to working from home, their lives turned upside down by the unexpected mash up of homeschooling their children at the same time, under the same roof, balancing career and family in ways more stressful than ever before, Trump posted a suggestion.

"Staying home w/kids? Plan a living room camp out!" she tweeted, along with a photo of herself and her children beneath a makeshift sheet tent, as though fun and games were possible for the average person.

In April, after posting videos encouraging "those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so," Trump and her family traveled to her vacation home in Bedminster, New Jersey. Her decision to leave Washington disregarded the federal coronavirus guidelines advising against discretionary travel that she urged other Americans to follow.

In May, as tens of thousands of people marched in protest of the killing of George Floyd and the scourge of systemic racism, Trump posted a Bible verse: "This is what the Lord said: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you."

It was interpreted by many as a strange and oblique message in a time when the country was seeking leadership and guidance.

In June, a recorded commencement address to a college in Kansas was canceled because the nation was embroiled in protests, and the President's "law and order" stance was creating further consternation. Trump, who taped the graduation speech before Floyd's death and ensuing events, posted it to the public weeks later, without re-recording to update the language to reflect the tenor of a nation clearly in pain and turmoil.

Instead, Trump's address, focused in part on her own personal growth, and what she called the "discomfort and uncertainty" of these times. The labels did not go over well, and again there were cries of tone-deafness from the social media chorus.

Trump, however, has not let her foibles stymie her need to share, nor continue in her White House role, emotionally and politically avoiding, at least publicly, what America is facing today -- hundreds of thousands of people sick with a virus no one can seem to control.

As for those beans, she's standing by them.

"Ivanka ... has every right to express her personal support," her spokeswoman told CNN.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
Unassigned05
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An area of high pressure will pave the way to plenty of sunshine as we round out the work week.
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