The RNC Concluded With A Giant, Not-Socially-Distanced Gathering On The South Lawn
“There will be people who became infected as a result of that event last night, and there’ll be people who will spread it and possibly require hospitalization, may even die,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta said of the tightly-packed crowd.
A large crowd devoid of masks and social distancing gathered on the White House’s South Lawn Thursday for the final night of the Republican National Convention — alarming experts as COVID-19 continues to spread in the U.S.
During a Friday CNN appearance, chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta called the crowded White House gathering “frustrating” and “mind boggling” as the country is still struggling with the virus. COVID-19 has infected over 5.5 million Americans including more than 180,000 deaths.
“There will be people who became infected as a result of that event last night, and there’ll be people who will spread it and possibly require hospitalization, may even die,” Gupta said.
According to a Washington Post report, and video footage, most of the 1,500+ attendees at the White House event weren’t wearing masks, despite their close proximity, and a majority of them were not offered rapid coronavirus tests. Two attendees interviewed by the Post said they didn’t even have their temperature taken and weren’t questioned about whether they were experiencing symptoms.
Throughout the convention, President Trump and other speakers avoided making a single mention of how many Americans have died from COVID-19. Though the immense amount of infections and the country’s economic plummet resulting from the virus all happened on Trump’s watch, he has still claimed that he did a commendable job responding to the pandemic.
For months, Trump resisted wearing a mask or advising others to do so, despite CDC recommendations that they be worn at all times while out in public. He has also shared tweets mocking Democratic opponent Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public and has gone maskless at his recent rallies — a trend that even raised alarm among Fox News anchors who have historically supported him.
Biden, who recently called for a nationwide mask mandate to combat the virus, did address Trump’s ineffectual response to the virus when accepting the Democratic presidential nomination during the last night of Democratic National Convention on August 20.
“Just judge this president on the facts. 5 million Americans infected with COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth,” Biden said.
The former vice president also tweeted about Trump’s COVID-19 response Thursday night as the RNC concluded.
“From the moment COVID-19 emerged, President Trump downplayed the threat it posed, refused to listen to the experts, and failed to take action to contain its spread,” he said. “Now, we’re paying the price.”
According to CNN, more than 3,600 Americans died from coronavirus during the RNC, from Monday to Thursday night at 5 pm. That number has since gone up.
"It's worth repeating, more Americans have died from COVID-19 during the four days of this Republican convention than the number of Americans killed on 9/11,” MSNBC anchor Brian Williams said Thursday night. Nearly 3,000 Americans died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Many RNC headliners gave their speeches from Washington, D.C., but the Republican Party went forward with holding some in-person events in Charlotte, North Carolina, despite concerns from local officials. On Friday morning, the Charlotte Observer reported that 4 people (two attendees and two support staff) tested positive for COVID-19.