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UFC's Dana White defends Trump's coronavirus response: He 'has faced all these obstacles head on'

UFC's Dana White defends Trump's coronavirus response: He 'has faced all these obstacles head on'
© Screenshot Republican National Convention

UFC President Dana White praised President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE's handling of the coronavirus pandemic during his address at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

White started his speech by blasting calls to defund the police and voicing support for first responders.

"Come on America! Defunding these vital positions is not the answer," he said. "The first responders have always taken care of us and now more than ever we need to take care of them."

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White's discussion of first responders then transitioned into praise of Trump's response to the pandemic.

"Now, let's talk about COVID and let's be very honest about that. No one person and no one place could have anticipated the challenges that COVID would bring. But President Trump has faced all of these obstacles head-on. He immediately put protective measures in place," he said. 

Former Obama administration officials say they left a pandemic playbook for the Trump administration, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week Drastic measures for drastic times — caregiver need mobile health apps Boycott sham impeachment MORE tweeted in 2019 that the U.S. was not prepared for a pandemic after Trump "rolled back progress."

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The president has authorized the Defense Production Act to increase the production of critical pandemic supplies and shut down U.S. flights from China early on in the pandemic to attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. His administration is also reportedly working to form a pandemic office as part of the State Department. 

But Democrats have criticized Trump, saying his messaging on the virus has not been consistent with public health experts. Trump has taken heat for delaying wearing a mask in public and for holding events where guests have not followed social distancing or mask-wearing guidelines, though supporters have praised his response, saying it saved lives.

White on Thursday also praised Trump's work to help live professional sporting events resume during the pandemic, noting that the UFC was among the first sports to restart.

"Let's reelect President Trump. Let's figure out what the problems are and continue to find solutions," he concluded. "It is so important to vote. And don't think that your vote doesn't matter, because it has never mattered more than it does right now."