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Opening Night of Republican Convention Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery, Law Enforcement

© REUTERS / POOLU.S. President Donald Trump reacts at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 24, 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 24, 2020 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Republican National Convention (RNC) is now underway featuring a slate of speakers headlined by Donald Trump Jr. and former ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, as the party hails the administration's COVID-19 recovery plans and warns that Democrats could win the election through mail-in ballot fraud.

The RNC is taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many of the scheduled events will be held outside the venue.

The convention began at 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday (1:00 a.m. GMT Tuesday), with a mixture of live and recorded speeches.

Within the first 30 minutes President Donald Trump hosted a live-streamed panel of health workers and emergency responders discussing the COVID-19 crisis.

Congressmen Jim Jordan underscored Trump's handling of the pandemic while congressman Matt Gaetz pointed out Trump's strengths on law enforcement while slamming the socialistic policies of the rival party and their calls to defund police. Other speakers noted the president's alleged success in education including for minority groups.

The RNC played clips from some of the protests and riots that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody in Minnesota in May. Then, they interviewed a couple who had been arrested for pointing guns at rioters.

The RNC also played a clip of former US hostages released from foreign custody under the Trump administration. During the pre-recorded clip, Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while talking with American pastor Andrew Brunson who was detained in Turkey for two years.

The former US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, praised Trump's foreign policy, such as strengthening bilateral ties with Israel and being firm against China. Haley claimed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would be weak towards US adversaries.

"This president [Trump] has a record of strength and success, the former vice president has a record of weakness and failure," Haley said in her remarks.
© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEFormer U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention in a live address from Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020.
Opening Night of Republican Convention Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery, Law Enforcement - Sputnik International
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention in a live address from Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020.

Donald Trump Jr. focused on his father's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including economic recovery plans, and his support for law enforcement. Trump Jr. took shots at Biden for tweeting earlier in the day that he is willing to shut down the country if needed in order to contain the pandemic.

Trump Jr. claimed Democrats are infringing on the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the rule of law. He added that the Trump administration will not support the removal of monuments of "people who built our great nation."

Trump Jr. also called for an end to racism, expressed regret for what happened to Floyd, but spoke against the movement to defund local law enforcement.

US media reported that several protesters, including a person who illegally entered a secure area at the convention, were arrested by authorities earlier on Monday.

The Republican Party on Monday officially nominated US President Donald Trump to run for re-election. Trump told his supporters at the Republican National Convention on Monday that the only way the Democrats can win the November election is by sending out mail-in ballots to steal millions of votes in what he described as "the greatest scam in history."

© REUTERS / Republican National ConventionU.S. President Donald Trump, next to people who were held hostage abroad, speaks by video feed during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 24, 2020. 2020 Republican National Convention
Opening Night of Republican Convention Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery, Law Enforcement - Sputnik International
U.S. President Donald Trump, next to people who were held hostage abroad, speaks by video feed during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 24, 2020. 2020 Republican National Convention

Delegates also endorsed Vice President Mike Pence by acclamation on Monday.

"The economy is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot, our most cherished ideals of freedom and free markets are on the ballot," Pence said via Twitter. "That's why we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House!"

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters that the US president will run on "eradicating" COVID-19 and boosting the economy. Miller added that Trump will contrast his business and jobs creation record and plans to revive the economy in the next four years to Biden's failure to offer detailed economic policies at the Democratic convention last week in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Trump in a tweet warned about Biden's plan to address the pandemic.

"Joe Biden has said he would lock down the Country again. That’s crazy! We’re having record job growth and a booming stock market, but Joe would end it all and close it all down. Ridiculous!" Trump said.
© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEKimberly Guilfoyle, the National Chair of the "Trump Victory Finance Committee" and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., delivers a pre-recorded speech to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention, from Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020.
Opening Night of Republican Convention Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery, Law Enforcement - Sputnik International
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the National Chair of the "Trump Victory Finance Committee" and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., delivers a pre-recorded speech to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention, from Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020.

The Democrats nominated Biden last week at their convention in Wisconsin. During his acceptance speech Biden promised to have a national strategy for containing the pandemic on "day one" if elected.

GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a tweet said "the Biden-Harris is the most radical, socialist ticket in American history, and we must vote like our lives and our country depend on it this November."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will headline Tuesday nights' lineup followed by Pence on Wednesday.

Trump is expected to give his acceptance speech on Thursday from the South Lawn of the White House.

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