The first lady spoke at the end of an evening that emphasized appeals to women voters. The convention paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and to activist Susan B. Anthony.
Trump delivered her speech from the Rose Garden. At one point, she directly addressed her remarks to mothers, while she also urged the media to focus more on the opioid crisis.
“Since March, our lives have changed drastically,” Trump said. “The invisible enemy, COVID-19, swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us…Our prayers are with those who are suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone.”
It was a rare acknowledgement of the seriousness of the pandemic at the convention so far. Earlier in the evening, Larry Kudlow, a Trump economic adviser, argued that the country has reached a “turning point” and the recovery is underway.
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The first lady drew a contrast with some other speakers at the convention in her discussion of the Black Lives Matter protests. While others had warned that Democratic-run cities had descended into mob violence, Melania Trump urged citizens to “take a moment, pause and look at things from all perspectives.”
“I urge people to come together in a civil manner,” she said. “Stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice.”
She also discussed her “Be Best” campaign to address online bullying.
On cable news, many invoked the Hatch Act and decried the use of federal property for political activity. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose job is typically thought to be above partisan politics, defended Trump’s “America First” foreign policy from the roof of a hotel in Jerusalem.
Unbothered by such criticism, President Trump presided over a naturalization ceremony at the White House earlier in the evening.