Ivanka Trump reached out to her fellow Americans on Easter Sunday in multiple messages of support amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the outbreak, many churches had to forego their typical Easter services and many families were forced to remain apart on a day that would typically bring them together. In a series of tweets, Ivanka, the daughter of President Donald Trump, acknowledged the "difficulty" of these times while also offering messages of hope.
"While so much is uncertain in these difficult times, I hope this Easter Sunday you are able to take solace in your faith and family, even if remotely," Trump wrote in the first of two tweets. "Join me in praying for protection of those on the frontlines battling COVID-19 & everyone, globally, who is hurting right now."
Wishing you and your families a wonderful and blessed Easter. #HappyEaster— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 12, 2020
Easter at the White House looked a little different this year from years past. While an Easter Monday event typically brings dozens of families to the property, this year, the South Lawn remained empty due to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 16, First Lady Melania Trump announced that the 2020 White House Easter Egg Roll would be canceled. The annual even was supposed to take place on Monday, April 13. The cancellation marked just one of a handful of times the event has been cancelled.
"The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now. I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term," Melania announced in a statement. "During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone."
Although she had to forego the Easter Egg Roll, Melania made sure to maintain one tradition: the reading to children. In a video shared to Twitter, the first lady read her favorite book, The Little Rabbit.
Happy Easter! While I am not able to read to children during the #WHEasterEggRoll, I would still like to honor the annual tradition & share a reading from one of my favorite Easter’s books – "The Little Rabbit" pic.twitter.com/2DsU6uRvdM— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 12, 2020
The different approach to Easter Sunday came after the president and his White House Coronavirus Task Force extended their social distancing guidelines. The president had initially hoped to reopen the country by Easter, though his tune later shifted as the number of cases in the United States continued to rise. As on Monday morning, a New York Times database recorded more than 550,000 confirmed cases in the country with deaths surpassing 22,000.