First Lady Melania Trump defended her work on the new White House tennis pavilion after photos she shared on Twitter of her supervising the construction project received backlash amid the global coronavirus outbreak and a tornado that struck Tennessee, killing 24 people.
“I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative (and) question my work at the White House to take time and contribute something good (and) productive in their own communities,” she wrote on Twitter on March. 7.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 7, 2020
The first lady added the hashtag “BeBest,” to the post, in reference to her public awareness campaign focusing on well-being for youth, and advocating against cyberbullying and drug abuse, highlighting Americas opioid crisis.
In her initial Twitter post on March. 5, the first lady shared a series of photos of herself wearing a hard hat and looking over what appeared to be architectural plans for the development of a tennis pavilion on the south grounds of the White House.
“I am excited to share the progress of the Tennis Pavillion at The White House. Thank you to the talented team for their hard work and dedication,” she wrote.
However, critics were quick to claim the photos were insensitive in light of the global outbreak of coronavirus and accused Trump of being “out of touch.”
Others also referenced the recent tornado which ripped across Nashville and other parts of Tennessee on March. 3, killing at least 24 people and critically injuring others while destroying more than 140 buildings, according to The Associated Press.
In response to the First Ladys original post, actor, activist and former fashion model Mia Farrow wrote on Twitter: “29 people were killed by a tornado in Tennessee, the world is shuddering as a pandemic expands and what is a tennis pavilion?”
Connie Schultz, wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), also wrote on Twitter: “Millions of Americans seek assurance that this administration is doing all that it can to stem spread of the coronavirus, but the First Lady wants us to know shes excited about her new tennis court. People are scared. Flaunting a lack of empathy inflicts further harm.”
Construction began for the tennis pavilion back in October and it will be located on the South Lawn of the White House, near the Childrens Garden. The White House has said it is being funded by private donations.
Exciting to break ground on the new tennis pavilion project at the White House today. Thank you to all who will help in making this legacy piece possible for future first families to gather at and enjoy for years to come. @theNationalMall