Caitlin Oprysko, Quint Forgey, Gavin Bade, Lara Seligman and Katy O’Donnell
Maskless Trump supporters flood White House lawn
Ahead of the convention’s final night of programming, crowds of Trump supporters — the majority of whom appeared maskless — gathered on the White House South Lawn in anticipation of the president’s headliner address later in the evening.
The seating arrangement for Trump’s acceptance speech drew scrutiny on social media, especially for pictures of closely assembled white folding chairs that were in clear violation of social distancing guidance.
Roughly 1,500 spectators were in attendance as the convention was set to commence, according to a White House pool report, and most Republican members of Congress were invited.
POLITICO reported Thursday that guests at Trump’s speech would not be required to take a coronavirus test upon their arrival at the event. Guidance issued to the in-person audience encouraged them to stay home if they had recently experienced Covid-19 symptoms and to “practice social distancing whenever possible.”
The guidance also noted that guests must wear protective face coverings when arriving at the White House and in high traffic areas, but stated that they can eschew masks during Trump’s speech.