U.S. Vice President Mike Pence highlights Wednesday’s third night of the Republican National Convention with a speech from Baltimore’s Fort McHenry.The schedule of speakers also includes Senators Marsha Blackburn and Joni Ernst, as well as Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence.Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s top advisers from his 2016 presidential campaign and throughout his time in the White House, is also set to speak days before stepping down from her position.On Tuesday night, first lady Melania Trump expressed sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.“Since March, our lives have been changed drastically,” the first lady said in a late- evening speech in the newly redesigned White House Rose Garden. “My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one. My prayers are with those who are ill or suffering.  “I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless,” she said. “I want you to know you are not alone.”  First lady Melania Trump speaks to the 2020 Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 25, 2020, in Washington.The tone of the speech marked a noticeable departure from much of the politically charged rhetoric of the first two nights of the four-day national convention, when Trump supporters sharply attacked Democratic challenger Joe Biden while praising Trump’s handling of the pandemic and the devastating effect it has had on the economy.  The first lady extended her gratitude to health care workers who have treated millions of people who have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.  “You put your country first, and my husband and I are grateful,” she said.  “It has been inspiring to see what people in our great nation will do for each other,” Melania Trump said in the address, the finale of the second night of the Republican National Convention that has nominated her husband for a second four-year term.  The convention is mostly being conducted virtually in Washington for fear of spreading the coronavirus. Usually, thousands of delegates pack into an arena every four years during U.S. presidential nominating conventions. Some speakers Tuesday night, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking from Jerusalem, applauded Trump’s actions as president, while others attacked the Democratic nominee on issues ranging from the economy and foreign policy to law and order and gun control.  FILE – Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.Biden campaign criticism
The Biden campaign criticized the convention content, saying those watching have not heard any plans for controlling the coronavirus pandemic.“Donald Trump’s continual refusal to take this virus seriously has given the United States the worst outbreak in the world, and his convention’s refusal to come to grips with reality or acknowledge the magnitude of the loss is a stark reminder to Americans of his complete failure to lead,” Biden’s Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement.By wide margins, polls show Americans disapproving of the way Trump has handled the pandemic, which has killed more than 178,000 people in the U.S. and infected more than 5.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Both figures are the highest for any country.  Earlier this year, Trump dismissed the danger of the virus, saying it would soon disappear, an assessment he repeated recently in contrast to what government and medical experts say.    Racial unrest  Melania Trump also discussed racial unrest in the United States that was spawned by the May 25 death of a Black man, George Floyd, while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Republicans have condemned Floyd’s death but focused most of their convention attacks on Democrats, criticizing them for not calling for an end to the street violence in the U.S. generated by demonstrations against racial injustice.  “Like all of you I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country,” the first lady said. “It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future, while still learning from our past.”  “With that in mind, I’d like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause and look at things from all perspectives,” she said. “I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals.”  “I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice, and never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin. Instead of tearing things down, let’s reflect on our mistakes,” she declared.  Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump, tapes his speech for the second day of the Republican National Convention from the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Aug. 25, 2020.On the second night of the convention, two more of the U.S. leader’s four adult children spoke. Eric Trump, an executive with the Trump Organization, the president’s New York-based global real estate and golf resort company, and Tiffany Trump, a recent law school graduate, said their father deserves another term in the White House.  Polls show Biden leading Trump by an average of 7.6 percentage points, according to an aggregation of polls by the Real Clear Politics website. However, Biden’s edge is a bit thinner in several key battleground states that could once again prove decisive in the election.  Only two U.S. presidents have lost reelection contests after a single term in office in the past four decades, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

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