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President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Context: The coronavirus pandemic forced the RNC to pick a new venue for the president to deliver his speech after convention events in Jacksonville, Florida, were canceled.

What he's saying: “I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good,” Trump told the Post, adding it would also be easiest for law enforcement and the Secret Service.

  • “We’d do it possibly outside on one of the lawns, we have various lawns, so we could have it outside in terms of the China virus."

Of note: “We could have quite a group of people. It’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people," Trump responded when asked if he’d formally accept the Republican nomination for president with a crowd present.

Go deeper

Trump participates in virtual G20 summit this weekend

President Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump will take part in the virtual G20 summit this weekend, the White House confirmed late Friday, to discuss the rise in coronavirus cases worldwide and the global economy.

Why it matters: The president's appearance comes as COVID-19 cases surge and world leaders struggle to develop a coordinated response to the pandemic. In total over 57 million cases have been reported, and more than 1.3 million deaths associated with the virus, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in seven months, thanks to the vaccines.

The big picture: The vaccines are turning the tide in America's battle with the coronavirus. Deaths and serious illnesses have dropped significantly, and now cases are falling too — an important piece of protection for the future, if we can keep it up.

2 hours ago - World

India sets new COVID world record as oxygen demand jumps seven-fold

COVID-19 patients being treated with free oxygen at a makeshift clinic in Indirapuram, Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Rebecca Conway/Getty Images

India has seen demand for oxygen jump "seven-fold" as the country set a new world record for daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, per AP.

By the numbers: India's health ministry reported 412,262 new infections, taking the official tally past 21 million, and 3,980 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The official death toll now stands at 230,168. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher.