Speed Reads

RNC 2020

Hundreds of seats fill the White House Lawn for Trump's convention speech — and social distancing isn't an option

President Trump's Republican National Convention speech has become a public health risk.

Anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 guests are expected to watch Trump's speech in person Thursday night, including many from outside of the Washington, D.C. area — a direct violation of the city's ban on mass gatherings. It's unclear if masks will be required, but social distancing definitely won't be, judging by photos of the seating setup on the White House's South Lawn. Dozens of rows of white chairs are lined side by side, with no visible evidence of additional spacing or other pandemic-related precautions.

Trump's campaign said a medical firm was hired to keep guests safe, per CBS News. But given the short supply of tests in the U.S., that rapid coronavirus antigen tests aren't as accurate as the slower molecular tests, and that Trump has a few coronavirus skeptics among his fan base, it might not be long before Trump's speech is being described as the latest super-spreader event.