With her vacant stare and vapid, press release-y talking points, Ivanka Trump does not come off as someone who has a good sense of humor. But Tuesday morning, a day after her father risked infecting countless people for a deranged photo op, Ivanka tweeted out something that was truly hysterical.
“Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot every season with rare exception,” the first daughter wrote. “Now more than ever it is critical to take care of ourselves and one another.”
The rank hypocrisy of those words coming from this family, who would not know how to take care of anyone if Mary Poppins herself came down their chimney to teach a personal MasterClass on the subject, is not new.
Neither is Ivanka’s first inclination to turn her father’s diagnosis into an Instagram aesthetic, superimposing footage of Trump’s return from Walter Reed Medical Center over a twinkling background. A caption written in sans serif font said, “Welcome home Dad!”
The homecoming was a prediction that relied on the familiar beats we all recognize from our own personal experiences with ill or suffering loved ones. First: the shock and horror of an unexpected diagnosis and the gut reaction positivity channeled for the purpose of “staying strong.”
“You are a warrior and will beat this,” Ivanka wrote on Friday evening after her father posted a video announcing he would be admitted to the hospital. “I love you dad.” Reporters, and most Americans, wanted to know just how sick he was. Instead, she gave them a perfunctory heart emoji.
Don Jr. also sent platitudes to his father, but manly ones, through an Instagram video. “He’s the toughest guy I know,” Don said, while rolling his fingers through his unkempt hair and sitting in front of gym equipment. “I’m not even a little bit concerned, because I know how he is.” (This contradicts reporting from Vanity Fair alleging that the president’s son “pushed for an intervention” about his “recklessness” at Walter Reed.)
Only a few moments of Don Jr.’s video were spent speaking about his father’s condition; quite predictably, he then lashed into a tirade against “sociopaths” who “wished death upon” his father.
If Ivanka tried to take some warped version of the high road, ignoring concerns about Trump’s condition in favor of offering vague, supportive clichés, Don Jr.’s social feeds devolved into childish rantings. “DON’T WORRY, I’M ALSO ABOUT TO TEST POSITIVE FOR A 2ND TERM!” his latest post, a meme of his father’s face, says.
Eric Trump also boosted his father’s social media addresses, calling him a “Warriorr!!!” on Friday. When Donald Trump released photos of him “working,” i.e., sitting at desk with sharpie and the thinnest binders I’ve ever seen in my life, Eric wrote, “If only all elected officials had this work ethic. . .I have admired this unrelenting drive my entire life.” He thought it was “so great” when the president took a joyride out to greet supporters outside of the hospital and tweeted out images of the helicopter landing on the White House Monday night.
One adult Trump child has so far remained publicly silent: Tiffany. Her own COVID status is also unknown; the other adult Trump children have all (so far) tested negative and told the world so. Tiffany was pictured at the Rose Garden celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett identified as a likely “superspreader” event.
The Trump family’s Instagram posts document a disaster that has ended; the early days of well-wishes from Ivanka and company have faded into “normal” posting, or what is considered “normal” for these people. Most of us watching at home realize this is not over.
Donald Trump has been discharged from the hospital in the middle of an illness; his own televised return to the White House shows a man who is ill and struggling for breath.
That’s all lost on, or at least ignored by Eric, who is back promoting Trump events. “Miami Florida: Join our family October 15th at 11:30 for a Pre-Debate Boat Parade!” he captioned a video showing clear skies and water. “It’s going to be insane! Come have some fun and let’s #KeepAmericaGreat.”