This week, as the world grappled with the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Melania Trump oversaw the construction of the White House's new tennis complex. Clad in a hard hat and a black turtleneck, Melania posed for a photo-op outside the pavilion and shared an update on Twitter, causing many people to question her priorities as First Lady in the wake of what some would consider a global crisis.
In a rare move, the former model responded to her critics on Saturday, tweeting: “I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative & question my work at the to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities."
Unfortunately, her call to action backfired and enraged everyone even more. "Children in cages. Record high homeless. People dying because they have no healthcare. A large percentage working several jobs to put food on the table. Not to mention current global pandemic. But a tennis pavilion for wealthy, is what you consider 'productive' to the community," one user wrote in response.
Children in cages. Record high homeless. People dying because they have no healthcare. A large percentage working several jobs to put food on the table. Not to mention current global pandemic. But a tennis pavilion for wealthy, is what you consider “productive” to the community🤦♀️— Jodie Moss (@JodieMoss76) March 7, 2020
Meanwhile, Melania's tone-deaf tweet had others comparing her to Marie Antoinette.
We're all kinda busy trying to figure out the whole Coronavirus pandemic thing. I'm sure your private tennis pavilion will be an inspiration to millions for years to come tho...— 🌊 Shane 🌊 🆘️🇺🇸🍑 (@egheitasean) March 7, 2020
Despite the backlash, it's important to note that it's a long-standing tradition for First Ladies to make improvements to the White House grounds. During her tenure, Laura Bush added fresh coats of paint to many of the State Rooms, while Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden in the South Lawn in 2009.
However, that's not to say, timing is everything.