Belmont Holy Angels close businesses day after surprise visit from Ivanka Trump

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 12:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Holy Angels businesses in Belmont are closed on Friday, one day after receiving a surprise visit by Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner both tested negative for COVID-19 Friday after her father, President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus.

Holy Angels, which provide jobs and opportunities for the disabled, said it is closing three of its businesses on Friday -- Cherubs Cafe, Cotton Candy Factory and Bliss Gallery -- all where Ivanka Trump met with employees and learned more about those operations.

"Along with the rest of the world, we have learned this morning that the President and the First Lady have contracted COVID-19. Yesterday, Ivanka Trump visited three of Holy Angels retail establishments in downtown Belmont, N.C.,: Holy Angels said in a statement. “We were pleased to learn from the White House that Ivanka’s COVID-19 test this morning was negative, along with her husband Jared Kushner.”

Holy Angels closed those shops for the day out of precaution but expects to reopen on Saturday.

The company said they were not required to close.

“However, at Holy Angels, we take these things seriously,” a Holy Angels spokesperson said. “When we reopen on Saturday, rest assured that we have done our very best to protect our loyal customers and our dedicated employees.”

Holy Angels’ Spruced Goose Station fresh eats & treats, located in McAdenville, remained open on Friday. Ivanka Trump did not visit there.

Gaston County DHHS released a statement about Ivanka’s visit:

"We understand there is a lot of public interest and concern about Ivanka Trump’s recent visit to Gaston County and local events with her in attendance, in light of President Trump’s recent announcement regarding his COVID-19 test results.

“At this point, we have no information that someone at the event(s) in question was positive. Because of the public interest and potential for local impact we have reached out to our partners at North Carolina DHHS and have a plan in place to facilitate timely response in the event we learn otherwise.”

On Thursday night, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they both tested positive for the virus. White House Special Assistant to the President and Associate Dir. of Communications for Economic Initiatives Carolina Hurley confirmed on Twitter that Ivanka had tested negative.

Less than 30 minutes before the negative test results were announced, Ivanka herself took to Twitter to wish her father and Melania a speedy recovery.

“Praying for the swift recovery of my father and Melania and for all those impacted by COVID-19,” she tweeted. “As they fight this together, the President will continue to fight for the people of this great country.”

President Trump said early Friday that he and the First Lady tested positive for the coronavirus. He reportedly has mild symptoms of the virus.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump tweeted just before 1 a.m. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus on Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman told the Associated Press.

Thursday was Ivanka Trump’s third reported visit to North Carolina in a little more than four weeks. she surprised three businesses in Belmont owned by Holy Angels, an organization that provides jobs and opportunities for those with disabilities. Among those visits were Cherub’s Cafe, Cotton Candy Factory and Bliss Gallery.

According to a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump, she met with employees and learned more about those operations.

Ivanka Trump then visited The Barn and Sandcastle Farm in Dallas for a moderated question and answer segment with Mercedes Schlapp, who previously served as White House Director of Strategic Communications in the Trump Administration, along with local supporters.

According to a spokesperson, Ivanka Trump discussed the president’s accomplishments, “including prioritizing affordable childcare, cutting taxes, school choice and the need to elect Donald Trump for four more years.”

Ivanka Trump’s visit to Gaston County comes 33 days ahead of the November presidential election.

Ivanka Trump, who is an adviser to her father, visited Wilmington for a “fireside chat” with Trump campaign national press secretary Hogan Gidley on Sept. 17.

On Sept. 10, she was in Raleigh to tour the State Farmers' Market and promote the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

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