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Coronavirus tests not required for all Melania Trump speech attendees: report

Coronavirus tests not required for all Melania Trump speech attendees: report
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The entire audience was not tested for the coronavirus before first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMSNBC host cuts off interview with Trump campaign spokesman after clash on alleged voter fraud The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — Sights and sounds outside the Amy Coney Barrett vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Iran, Russia election bombshell; final Prez debate tonight MORE’s Republican National Convention speech in the White House Rose Garden late Tuesday, according to CNN.

An attendee told the network that the RSVP to the event included screening questions, adding, however, that guests did not receive coronavirus tests or temperature checks once at the White House.

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 MORE, the first lady's chief of staff, confirmed to CNN that only the audience members "in the rows near the President and vice president" were tested for coronavirus before the speech. She said most guests did not receive COVID-19 tests, especially those "in the last five or six rows.”

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Those who come into close contact with either President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE or Vice President Pence including senior aides, staffers and Melania Trump's parents — did get tested, according to Grisham.

Approximately 70 people attended the speech in the newly remodeled Rose Garden. The vast majority of attendees did not wear masks and CNN noted that their chairs did not appear to be placed six feet apart.

Washington, D.C., currently prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people in an attempt to stem the spread of the deadly virus, which has infected more than 13,684 people and killed at least 604 in the nation's capital. 

Last month, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) issued an executive order requiring residents to wear masks outside of the home as the city battles rising coronavirus cases.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for President Trump's reelection campaign, told CNN that “we contracted with a coronavirus adviser and all suggested protocols were followed.”

The Hill has reached out to the campaign for comment.

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The first lady’s keynote address was the first in-person event for the ongoing GOP convention and was a notable moment in the spotlight for Melania Trump, who has largely maintained a low profile as first lady during President Trump’s tenure and rarely delivers public speeches.

She described her husband as a champion for families and offered condolences to those who have lost loved ones due to the novel coronavirus. 

“I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone,” Melania Trump said. “It has been inspiring to see what the people of our great nation will do for one another, especially when we are at our most fragile.”

President Trump will deliver his acceptance speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday evening.

The president has faced backlash for his use of the White House as a backdrop for the partisan political events, breaking with past precedent from Democratic and Republican presidents.