Ivanka and Jared ignore coronavirus restrictions for Passover trip after telling others to stay home

“Those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so,” Ivanka has urged the public

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published April 16, 2020 9:45AM (EDT)

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Getty/S)
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Getty/S)

President Donald Trump's daughter-turned-adviser Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner flouted federal guidelines and local travel restrictions to make a trip from their home in Washington to their family's golf resort in New Jersey, according to The New York Times.

Trump, Kushner and their three children traveled from Washington to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster for Passover last week as Jewish families around the country held seders over teleconferencing apps like Zoom due to restrictions on gatherings and non-essential travel.

The family's travel flouted their own administration's federal guidelines urging the public to "avoid discretionary travel . . . and social visits," as well as the April 1 order by Washington Mayor Muriel Browser requiring families to stay home unless they are performing essential activities.

Trump herself urged the public to stay indoors to help with efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"Those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so," she said in a video posted to Twitter. "Social distancing saves lives. Please do your part. We are all in this together," she added.

Kushner later traveled back to Washington, while Trump and their children are still at the Bedminster club, according to The Times. Trump told others that the club, which was shut down as New Jersey deals with one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the nation, made it easier to socially distance than their mansion in Washington, according to the report.

Bowser warned when she issued the order that the most important way to "protect yourself, your family and our entire community . . . is staying home."

"Any individual who willfully violates the stay-at-home order may be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days or both," the mayor's office said in a statement when the order was announced.

President Trump himself was so concerned about the alarmingly-high rate of infection in New Jersey that he floated the idea of imposing a quarantine on the entire region. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later issued a warning for the region asking people to refrain from nonessential travel.

Ivanka Trump's trip came after she participated in a conference call with her father and business executives to discuss coronavirus relief efforts, where the president falsely credited her with creating "over 15 million jobs."

She also participated remotely in at least two of her father's calls with business leaders on Wednesday, according to The Times.

Kushner is back in Washington, where is he heading up a "shadow" White House task force that has irked numerous senior White House officials and career federal employees.

Administration officials told The New York Times that Kushner's team, which is largely composed of former tech entrepreneurs who officials have labeled the "Slim Suit Crowd," have angered some by issuing orders to health agencies while sparking concerns with their use of private email and free teleconferencing apps to conduct "high-level" business.

One official described the team as a "frat party" that "descended from a UFO and invaded the federal government."

Kushner's role in the coronavirus response efforts sparked congressional scrutiny after a Health and Human Services inspector general report found alarming equipment shortages at hospitals across the country and state officials complained that the federal government had seized equipment sent to their hospitals.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called on the administration to provide documents to help them "understand the role" that Kushner is playing the response effort.

The lawmakers said they were "troubled" that Kushner could be "circumventing protocols that ensure all states' requests are handled appropriately" and questioned if he was granting special favors to officials close to the administration.

"We are particularly troubled," they said, "that Mr. Kushner's work may even involve 'directing FEMA and HHS officials to prioritize specific requests from people who are able to get Kushner on the phone.'"

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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Aggregate Coronavirus Covid-19 Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Politics