Melania Trump Reads Easter Book Remotely After White House Egg Roll Canceled

Melania Trump kept one of the White House’s longest traditions alive on Sunday, even as the nation remained on pause during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In honor of Easter, the first lady, 49, shared a video of herself to social media, remotely reading a children’s book to kids.

It’s something Trump would have normally done at the White House Easter Egg Roll, the yearly holiday celebration on the White House lawn that officially dates back to the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878 (and unofficially, to President Abraham Lincoln). This year’s festivities were canceled in mid-March as the death toll for the coronavirus escalated.

“Since we are not able to celebrate the traditional Easter Egg Roll on the grounds of the White House this year, I want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Easter, and read one of my favorite children’s books,” Trump said at the video’s start, before launching into a reading of The Little Rabbit.

The 2019 children’s book, by author/illustrator Nicola Killen, tells the a story of a friendship between a little girl and her stuffed rabbit, who magically comes to life. Images of the book’s pages filled the screen of the White House’s video, as Trump read the sweet story via voiceover.

“I hope you’re able to enjoy this special holiday,” she said at the video’s conclusion. “Be sure to take care of yourselves and each other.”

Also on Sunday, the first lady tweeted out a message to her followers online.

“This #Easter Sunday, I send greetings to all Americans and their loved ones as we come together to reflect on the importance of family & faith,” she wrote. “May God bless our great nation!”

Since then, the coronavirus outbreak has only spread more. As of Monday morning, there have been at least 555,371 reported cases of the virus in the United States, according to a New York Times database. More than 22,000 people have died.

Last week, Trump released a series of social media posts in which she stressed the importance of wearing protective masks in public to prevent the spread of the contagious virus to others, while also noting that masks don’t negate the need to social distance.

While experts previously said they weren’t necessary, the push for face coverings came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learned that a large portion of COVID-19 cases might not show symptoms. Based on the finding, people can unknowingly spread the respiratory virus when they seem otherwise healthy.

“As the CDC continues to study the spread of the COVID-19, they recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures can be difficult to maintain,” Trump captioned a photo of herself with a white mask covering the bottom half of her face.

She added: “Remember, this does not replace the importance of social distancing. It is recommended to keep us all safe.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, President Donald Trump said that he would not be wearing one, despite health experts recommending it.

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