• The first lady celebrated the completion of a new tennis pavilion
  • The project began in October 2019
  • The new building will not be open for public use

First lady Melania Trump on Monday celebrated the completion of a new tennis pavilion on the south grounds weeks before she and President Donald Trump are scheduled to leave the White House.

“History continues to unfold at the @WhiteHouse and I am pleased to announce the completion of the tennis pavilion. Preserving this historic landmark is vital & I want to thank all who helped complete this project,” she wrote on Twitter.

The project, which began in October 2019, included renovating the tennis court and the children’s garden. It also included plans to build a pavilion inspired by the White House's architectural style, the Associated Press reported.

The new White House Tennis Pavilion was constructed in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service. Private donations funded the project.

The tennis pavilion will not be open to the public, and it is not a community project, according to a statement from the first lady’s office. “It is my hope that this private space will function as both a place of leisure and gathering for future First Families,” the statement read.

Melania Trump’s announcement drew backlash as novel coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. continue to rise.

Mother Jones’ D.C. bureau chief, David Corn, retweeted the first lady’s statement with the caption “282,345” in reference to the number of Americans who have died from COVID-19, The Guardian reported.

Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast also blasted Trump for her announcement by captioning a retweet with: “Oh good, those people in their ICU beds will feel so much better knowing that [Trump] has finished her tennis pavilion.”

This was not the first time the first lady and the presidential residence received backlash during the pandemic. In March, Trump tweeted photos of herself reviewing the structure’s blueprints as the nation grappled with coronavirus outbreaks.

“I am excited to share the progress of the Tennis Pavillion at @WhiteHouse. Thank you to the talented team for their hard work and dedication,” Trump wrote.

Critics called Trump’s actions “insensitive” and “tone-deaf” amid the COVID-19 health crisis and recent disasters, including the tornadoes that hit Tennessee, killing 24 residents.

The first lady responded to the backlash and urged her critics to do “something good” and contribution to their communities, The Hill reported.

“I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative & question my work at the @WhiteHouse to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities,” she wrote.

The Trump family is set to leave the White House on Jan. 20 during President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

First Lady Melania Trump is to address the Republican National Convention
First Lady Melania Trump is to address the Republican National Convention AFP / SAUL LOEB