Donald Trump ‘will not rest’ until coronavirus overcome, wife Melania tells US voters

US first lady tells Republican convention her husband is an ‘authentic’ president who gets things done

US first lady Melania Trump has urged Americans to re-elect her husband for a second term, claiming the US needs his leadership “more than ever”, as she delivered the keynote speech on the second night of the Republican National Convention.

“No matter the amount of negative or false media headlines, or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump has not, and will not, lose focus on you. He loves this country and he knows how to get things done,” she said. “He’s not a traditional politician. He doesn’t just speak words, he demands actions and get results.”

In a markedly softer tone than that adopted by many of the contributors during the four-day convention, Ms Trump was one of the few speakers to highlight the reality of coronavirus as she delivered her address from the recently renovated White House Rose Garden.

“I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us,” she said.


“I know many people are anxious, and some feel helpless. I want you to know you’re not alone,” she said. “My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective vaccine or treatment available to everyone. Donald will not rest until he has done everything he can to help everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic.”

Praising her husband’s work as president, she said: “While at times we only see the worst of people and politics in the evening news, let’s remember how we come together in the most difficult times.”

“We all know Donald Trump makes no secret about how he feels about things. Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking. And that is because he’s an authentic person who loves this country and its people and wants to continue to make it better.”

Racial injustice

Recalling the “energy and enthusiasm” of those who elected Mr Trump in 2016, she said: “We have not forgotten the incredible people who were willing to take a chance on the businessman who had never worked in politics.”

“We know that it is you that will carry us through again. We were humbled by the incredible support then, and we are still grateful today.”

She also raised the recent protests about racial injustice. “Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past.”

Two of Mr Trump’s children, Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump – the president’s daughter with his second wife Marla Maples – also spoke on the second night of the convention, the latest members of the Trump family to feature in the four-day convention.

Ms Trump said that, like many young people, she was now looking for a job, having graduated from Georgetown Law School in May. “My father built a thriving economy once, and believe me, he will do it again,” she said, urging voters to make their judgment “based on results and not rhetoric”.

She said people must recognise “that our thoughts, opinions, and even the choice of who we vote for are being manipulated and invisibly coerced by the media and tech giants”.

“If you tune into the media, you get one biased opinion or another. And if what you share does not fit into the narrative they seek to promote, then it is either ignored or deemed a ‘lie’, regardless of the truth. This manipulation of what information we receive impedes our freedoms.”


In his speech, Eric Trump predicted that “under my father’s leadership” the American spirit “will send Americans to Mars”, as he outlined his father’s achievements in office.

“Every day my father fights for the American people, the forgotten men and women of this country, the ones who embody the American Spirit, which is unlike anything else in the world.”

Claiming that Democrats believe that “America is the source of the world’s problems,” he said that party wanted to “destroy the monuments of our forefathers”, “disrespect our flag”, and “defund, destroy and disrespect our law enforcement”.

Among the other high profile speakers on Tuesday night was secretary of state Mike Pompeo. In a highly unusual move, he broke with tradition by becoming the first sitting secretary of state in 75 years to address a political convention.

Further, his decision to deliver the speech from Israel where he is currently on a diplomatic visit, prompted a congressional panel to open an investigation. Joaquin Castro, the chairman of the House of Representatives foreign affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigation, said Mr Pompeo may have breached the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political acts while on official business, and the state department’s own guidelines.

Speaking in a pre-recorded video overlooking the old town of Jerusalem, Mr Pompeo praised Mr Trump for “delivering on his duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact”.

He outlined the president's foreign policy initiatives in China, his decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. He also referred to his North Korea policy.

“The president lowered the temperature and, against all odds, got North Korean leadership to the table,” he said.


The second night of the convention heard from a range of Trump supporters, including an anti-abortion activist, and a lobster farmer from Maine, who praised the recent EU-US trade deal.

Amid criticism that Mr Trump used the location of the White House for a partisan, political campaign event, the president hosted a pre-recorded naturalisation ceremony that saw five people sworn in as American citizens.

“You’ve earned the most prized, cherished, priceless possession anywhere in the world – it’s called American citizenship,” said Mr Trump from a lectern in the White House.

Earlier he pardoned former prisoner Jon Ponder, founder of the movement Hope for Prisoners, a prisoner reentry programme, also at an event in the White House.

Nicholas Sandmann, the former Covington student whose interaction with a native American demonstrator on the National Mall in Washington went viral last year, also spoke. “My life changed forever in that moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved into attack mode,” he said, placing a “Make America Great Again” red baseball cap on his head.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent