First lady Melania Trump’s speech was the first in-person remarks with an audience at the Republican National Convention – it appears there were around 100 attendees seated in chairs in the newly-renovated Rose Garden.
Melania’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham confirmed to CNN that most guests ‘in the last five or six rows’ were not tested.
She did however, claim Wednesday morning to CNN that anyone who came in close contact with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who were seated next to each other in the front row for the remarks, were administered a test for COVID-19 ahead of the speech.
Grisham said this included audience members ‘in the rows near the president and vice president,’ senior aides, staffers and the first lady’s parents.
An attendee of first lady Melania Trump’s speech Tuesday revealed that guests were not tested for coronavirus ahead of the remarks to an intimate crowd in the Rose Garden
Melania’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham claimed those who came in close contact with President Donald Trump were tested, including his father-in-law Viktor Knavs and mother-in-law Amalija Knavs (seated here behind the president)
Melania made the case for her husband’s second term while addressing the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night. Her remarks were the first of the convention to be delivered live to a crowd
Melania Trump painted her husband’s weaknesses as strengths when she argued for President Trump’s bid for a second term in her speech the second night of the Republican Convention.
While the remarks were intended to appeal to female voters, she also spoke at length on race and coronavirus, setting a strikingly different tone from her husband.
Most of those attending the Rose Garden event did not wear masks, and while seats were spaced apart, the gaps were nowhere near six-feet in distance.
Attendees included Trump, Pence, second lady Karen Pence, members of Trump’s Cabinet and Melania’s parents, among others.
Washington, DC coronavirus mandates currently prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people.
‘We contracted with a coronavirus adviser and all suggested protocols were followed,’ Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, told CNN.
Melania painted herself as a wife and a mother during her 26-minute remarks, which outlined the reasons women should vote for her husband in November and addressed the areas where female voters rate him as weak – the coronavirus pandemic and race relations.
And unusually she directly commented on unfolding events, as violence flared for a second night in Kenosha, WI, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed after being shot seven times in the back.
‘I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice,’ she said.
Unlike Trump, she said of racial division: ‘Like many of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. We are not proud of parts of our history.’
That set a tonal contrast to her husband, who clapped from the front row of the Rose Garden as she spoke, with her parents just behind him.
And she paid explicit tribute to the dead of the coronavirus pandemic – never using his ‘China virus’ phrase’ – saying she mourned with those left behind.
Her speech was meant to smooth away her husband’s rough edges even as she was careful to stay out of the political arena. It came on a night when Republicans tried to set a positive tone and lay claim to optimism, with Trump pardoning a black bank robber and swearing in five new Americans, both in the White House, while Mike Pence presented a video from Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home with ordinary voters paying tribute to Trump.
But it also saw Tiffany and Eric Trump channel their father with his younger daughter making a rare public appearance to rail against big tech and the media claiming they try to ‘mentally enslave’ people to control what views they hear.