Khloé Kardashian Addresses Backlash over Kim Kardashian's 40th Birthday Trip to Private Island

Kim Kardashian sparked criticism for a luxury trip she took with a large group amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Khloé Kardashian is addressing the backlash over her sister Kim Kardashian's 40th birthday trip.

Khloé made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, where she spoke out about the vehement criticism her sister has received after organizing a luxury trip abroad with "20 or 25" of her closest friends and family amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I haven't heard a lot about it, but I did hear people were upset that we went out of town," said Khloé, 36. "This year is a frustrating year — I get it. I think there's so many frustrations going on for everybody, but also it's her 40th and this is something that she really wanted to do. For us, it was such a nice thing."

Kim Kardashian West (L) and Khloé Kardashian. Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Earlier this week, Kim shared several photos from the trip on social media, which showed the group in close proximity without wearing masks. In her caption, the KKW founder said she required everyone on the trip to quarantine and undergo "health screens" before flying out.

"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she wrote. "I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is."

The post sparked outrage online amongst people who called the trip "selfish" and accused the star of disregarding the pandemic and its financial impact.

"Very selfish when people are dying and loosing [sic] their jobs," commented one user on Instagram.

"I love how the elite don't have to social distance OR wear masks," wrote another, adding "#hypocrites."

"Did the pandemic go away?!" said another. "Omg wish someone would've told me we could have massive parties."

During Khloé's appearance on Ellen, she emphasized the health precautions put in place before the group traveled and said the locals were happy to have their business.

"Being there with all the precautions that we took ... and how grateful everyone was for the tourism aspect of it," she said. "So many people said that we were their first party of guests that they've had in months and what it's done for them to be able to pay their bills or to be able to do stuff for their family, just hearing those messages when we were there, we felt really good and we felt so safe."

She added: "We did it in the safest way I could imagine someone doing it."

Despite the backlash, Khloé said she hopes her sister can focus on "how beautiful" the trip was.

"It was such a beautiful experience and I want Kim to focus on how beautiful it was and what she did for everybody," she said. "I don't want that to overshadow all the greatness that happened."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles