“Well, look, we always, whether it’s at this event you saw at the White House or at any campaign event, we always encourage people to follow the guidelines and to do what they think is best for themselves,” Lara Trump told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “So we always have masks available we encourage people to use them, we always have a hand sanitizer available, and we encourage people to spread themselves out.”
“But I think, you know, as it always works out, people always rush towards the front of the stage they want to be around this President, they pack themselves in,” she continued, adding: “At a certain point in this country, I think we all have to recognize the people want to get back to normal, and you know what? Maybe it’s going to a Trump rally that does that. But we are always following the guidelines.”
Unlike most Americans, President Donald Trump has access to an extensive testing regime that his aides say renders him the “most tested man in America,” and anyone who comes into close proximity with him receives one.
But guests attending speeches from Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence — including more than 1,000 guests on the South Lawn during the President’s Thursday night speech — were seen ignoring social distancing guidelines and few wore masks. While neither the campaign nor the White House would provide specific details, at least some of the guests at those events were tested.
The effect provided Trump with the crowds he long desired for the convention, but it also allowed him to project a reality that doesn’t exist nationwide. Many states still ban large gatherings. Rapid Covid-19 testing is not available in many places, and wait times are long. The mask requirements that exist in many states would not permit the types of bare-faced events that the President has convened.
Last week, county officials told CNN four people involved with the Republican National Convention meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, tested positive for Covid-19, serving as a reminder that large GOP events that have largely eschewed safety measures could contribute to the spread of the virus.
The city was originally set to host the entire Republican convention, but coronavirus-related concerns limited activities there to largely party business rather than speeches, and much of the event was remote or held in Washington, DC.
Pushed by Wallace on Sunday to respond to health officials’ warnings about large gatherings and the crowd conditions at Trump’s RNC acceptance speech, Lara Trump instead pointed to what she called a “hypocritical” standard, saying thousands gathered Friday at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the historic civil rights March on Washington and demand police reform.
“So look, we either have to say that everybody plays by the same rules or we have to stop talking about it. Because whenever you’re talking about the President’s campaign, you know, and how people weren’t specifically socially distant, but the next day, thousands of people on the National Mall and that’s not a problem for anybody. It seems a little hypocritical,” the President’s daughter-in-law said.