RNC: Guests invited to Melania Trump’s speech ‘were not tested for coronavirus before entering White House’

RNC: Guests invited to Melania Trump’s speech ‘were not tested for coronavirus before entering White House’

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Republicans attending first lady Melania Trump‘s speech on day two of the Republican National Convention (RNC) were reportedly not tested for Covid-19 before entering the White House.

An unnamed source who was at the speech – the first of this year’s RNC to be held in front of a crowd – told CNN that guests were not tested, and did not have their temperature checked on arrival to the Rose Garden.

GOP officials did ask those attending to fill out a screening form when sending their RSVP’s, the source added.

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It comes after public health experts in North Carolina expressed concerns GOP officials had not been enforcing coronavirus regulations at the party’s event in Charlotte on Monday.

Film and images from inside the Charlotte Convention Centre showed some attendees not wearing face masks, while others appeared to flout social distancing guidelines by congregating close together in small groups.

It was a similar scene at the Rose Garden on Tuesday night; live video and subsequent pictures show guests at the first lady’s speech not wearing face coverings.

Attendees were also sat close together, with chairs on the lawn appearing not to be placed the recommended 6ft apart to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Washington state coronavirus regulations stipulate that people must not gather in groups of more than 50 people; the Trump campaign had previously said around 70 people would attend the event, according to CNN.

Stephanie Grisham, Ms Trump’s chief of staff, told the network on Wednesday morning that audience members sitting near the president or vice president were tested before the speech.

The Independent has contacted the White House and the Trump campaign for comment.

The first lady concluded the second day of the RNC with a speech that sought to strike a different tone to the somewhat apocalyptic addresses delivered earlier in the week.

With her husband tanking in the polls, Ms Trump conveyed her compassion for the 170,000 Americans who have died amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She also made reference to the social unrest that has swept the US over the killing of unarmed black man George Flyod, which threatens to boil over again with the shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake on Sunday.

“I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals,” she said. “I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice and never make assumptions based on the colour of a person’s skin.”

Vice president Mike Pence and his wife Karen are scheduled to speak at the RNC on Wednesday, as will White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who recently announced her resignation.

As the president continues to struggle to win over college-educated women, four of the GOP’s party’s rising female stars will also deliver remarks on Wednesday.

Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn, New York representative Elise Stefanik, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, and the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, are all on the bill.

Mr Trump will speak on Thursday when he officially accepts the GOP’s nomination for president.

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