The final night of the Republican National Convention kicked off Thursday night and will end with President Donald Trump formally accepting the party's 2020 presidential nomination. Photos and videos from the scene showed hundreds of people gathered on the White House South Lawn, ignoring coronavirus guidelines. People were seen sitting right next to each other, not social distancing, and very few masks were visible.
The RNC saw Republicans and the Trump administration smashing political norms left and right, as they used federal properties to deliver political speeches. Trump is doing the same on Thursday night, becoming the first sitting president to deliver a political convention speech in front of the White House. The scene shocked observers online, especially seeing the giant Trump campaign sign positioned right in front of the building.
Throughout the week, Republicans also noticeably ignored masks and social distancing guidelines throughout the week. On Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the administration's coronavirus task force, was seen fist-bumping supporters at Fort McHenry. During his speech, Pence said the country was "on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year." He also pointed out his 87-year-old mother, Nancy Pence, was in the crowd, not wearing a mask. Reuters reporter Jeff Mason tweeted that members of the audience said they were not tested before Pence spoke.
Seems to be no social distancing expected for Trump's convention speech tonight on the White House South Lawn. pic.twitter.com/nUCj5Lg3ur— Blake ✨ (@MrBlakeGreen) August 28, 2020
More than 180,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and 5.8 million Americans have tested positive, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its testing guidelines to say people who did not show symptoms of the virus dud not need to be tested, even though someone who is asymptomatic can still spread it. The CDC later said it meant people who are at risk of "significant exposure" should still be tested, as well as "critical infrastructure workers, healthcare workers, and first responders, or those individuals who may be asymptomatic when prioritized by medical and public health officials," reports CBS News.prevnext
1,200+ people died today of COVID-19. Donald Trump’s (illegal) White House convention speech—which has no social distancing or mask requirement—could become a COVID super-spreader event. This is so irresponsible and immoral. #RNC2020 #TrumpChaos pic.twitter.com/yWnWqZKFiY— Jordan Meehan 🏳️🌈 (@JordanMeehan) August 27, 2020
This one image explains a lot:
1. The abuse of the presidency for Trump's personal political benefit, with the White House adorned with a giant campaign sign
2. A complete disregard for science in the middle of a pandemic, with attendees not wearing masks or social distancing pic.twitter.com/I61gwj1JGA— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 27, 2020
Seating on the White House South Lawn for @realDonaldTrump #RepublicanConvention speech. Chairs are close together, there is little social distance, and most people are not wearing masks. The Trump campaign says precautions against the #coronavirus have been taken. pic.twitter.com/qlpWRTzYM1— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) August 27, 2020