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Ivanka Trump travelled to New Jersey to celebrate Passover despite coronavirus guidelines
Published Friday, April 17, 2020 7:49AM EDT Last Updated Friday, April 17, 2020 8:05AM EDT
Ivanka Trump travelled with her family from Washington to Bedminster, New Jersey, last week to celebrate Passover, a White House official said Thursday.
Trump's decision to leave Washington, first reported by The New York Times, disregarded the federal coronavirus guidelines advising against discretionary travel that she has urged other Americans to follow.
"Ivanka -- with her immediate family -- celebrated Passover at a closed down facility considered to be a family home. Her travel was no different than had she been travelling to/from work and the location was less populated than the surrounding area near her home in D.C.," the official told CNN in a statement Thursday.
The official continued, "While at Bedminster she has been practising social distancing and working remotely. Her travel was not commercial. She chose to spend a holiday in private with her family."
The family drove from Washington to New Jersey, the official told CNN.
Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, was at Bedminster for Seder, but is no longer there. Trump has remained there for Passover, which ends this Thursday evening.
According to the Times, Trump has continued to work from Bedminster, while Kushner has returned to the White House to help the president with the government's response to the coronavirus.
The official did not respond to CNN's question on whether any extended family members were present for the Seder.
A senior White House adviser, Trump has posted social media videos encouraging "those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so."
The White House federal guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus state: "Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits." The White House task force has advised Americans to social distance, stay 6 feet apart from others, and to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser has also issued a "stay-at-home" order, restricting residents to only essential activities and travel.
While it's perfectly legal to travel between states, Trump chose to leave her Washington home to go to a state that is currently a "hot spot" for coronavirus. New Jersey has the second-most reported cases and deaths in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory on March 28 urging people in the tri-state area -- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- to "refrain from non-essential domestic travel" for the next two weeks, with exceptions for critical infrastructure employees.
Though Trump was spending time with her husband and children, their travel entails U.S. Secret Service and local law enforcement resources during a challenging time.
A Bedminster Township police sergeant died from Covid-19 on Easter Sunday.
Trump is not the only high-profile official who has been lax about the federal guidelines of social distancing. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued to work out with her personal trainer, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio went for a walk miles from his home, and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and his family ate at a packed restaurant.