Ivanka Trump sought to humanize her father and his response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Republican National Convention Thursday, saying she has "seen the pain in his eyes when he receives updates on the lives that have been stolen by this plague."
Why it matters: RNC speakers spent little time discussing the pandemic over the course of four days of programming — especially compared to the Democratic convention, where it was a central focus. The most common references came as speakers pointed to the strong economy that Trump presided over before COVID-19 threw the world into chaos.
What she's saying: "I've been with my father and I have witnessed him make some of the most difficult decisions of his life."
- "I sat with him in the Oval Office as he stopped travel to Europe," she said, diverting from Trump's usual point of first defense against accusations that he didn't do enough to stop the virus — that he slowed travel from China.
- She attributed state and local decisions to shut down businesses, schools, and daily life in order to curb the spread of the virus to the White House, saying that Trump took the action "to save American lives."
- "This is why our President rapidly mobilized the full force of government and the private sector to produce ventilators within weeks — to build the most robust testing system in the world — and to develop safe and effective treatments, and very soon a vaccine."
The bottom line: Early missteps allowed the coronavirus to spread throughout the U.S for weeks before state and local officials implemented strict lockdowns designed to keep the virus from spinning further out of control. The country has reported over 5 million COVID-19 cases and more than 180,00 deaths.