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Updates and analysis from Day 4 of the Republican National Convention

The convention concluded with President Donald Trump's acceptance speech.
Image: President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
President Trump and his daughter Ivanka will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The final day of the Republican National Convention took place on Thursday, culminating in President Donald Trump's speech accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Other speakers on Thursday included Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer.

Trump delivered his speech at the White House, a decision that critics have said could be a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in certain political activities. The president and vice president are exempt from the law but other White House employees are not.

Fact check: Ivanka Trump says Trump's actions have cut drug prices. But drug prices have gone up.

“Recently, he took dramatic action cut the cost of prescription drugs despite fielding angry calls from the CEOs of every major pharmaceutical company,” the president's daughter Ivanka Trump said Thursday night during her primetime address. “Now, when we see an attack ad paid for by Big Pharma, my dad smiles and says to me, “You know we’re doing something really right if they’re hitting us so hard.” 

This is misleading. Drug prices have risen during Trump’s administration, and gone up steadily during the pandemic. And while Trump has talked up taking decisive action, his orders remain secret.

Ivanka says Trump’s ‘results speak for themselves’ — and the internet went to town

Ivanka Trump noted in her speech that while some voters may not be too keen on her father’s tweets, “the results speak for themselves.”

Twitter lit up in response.

Needless to say, some felt the results did speak for themselves. But not in a good way.

Case in point: Ivanka Trump highlighting her father’s actions on the coronavirus and the shutting down parts of the economy to combat the pandemic that has killed over 180,000 people in the U.S.

But as some pointed out, Trump was unable to lead a response that curtailed the outbreak while things were shut down, leaving the disease raging well into the summer months.

Fact check: Ivanka Trump mischaracterizes father's use of Defense Production Act

Ivanka Trump, in her Thursday night RNC speech, claimed that her father “rapidly mobilized the full force of government and the private sector to produce ventilators within weeks.”

This is a substantial mischaracterization of what occurred. Trump did mobilize the private sector within weeks, but given how quickly the coronavirus was spreading early in the year, health officials and experts said it was still too long a period for Trump to take action and that doing so sooner could have saved lives.

Ivanka Trump’s remarks about the private sector are a reference to the president's invoking of the Defense Production Act — a 1950 law allowing the president to force U.S. businesses to produce materials in the national defense, such as ventilators and medical supplies for health care workers.

But Trump dragged his feet in actually putting the act into effect.

As NBC News noted in a fact check of remarks Tuesday night by Ivanka Trump’s brother, Donald Trump Jr., the president had said on March 18 that he was going to invoke the DPA. But he waited more than a week to actually invoke it, finally using it on March 27 to force GM to make ventilators

During that key stretch, hospitals and doctors implored the administration to use the DPA to increase the capacity to produce needed equipment. In a March 21 letter to Trump, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association all urged Trump to "immediately use the DPA to increase the domestic production of medical supplies and equipment that hospitals, health systems, physicians, nurses and all front line providers so desperately need." The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was found on Jan. 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Doctors, public health experts and a prominent Republican governor on the front lines of the pandemic have also sharply criticized how the Trump White House lagged in responding to the coronavirus, including delays in the distribution of ventilators and personal protective equipment.

Undocumented immigrants without health care were some of the “essential workers” felled by COVID-19

Republicans repeated their campaign talking point Thursday night that Democrats want to give health care to immigrants without legal status on Thursday night. But the pandemic has shown some of the consequences of high uninsured rates among people without legal status in the U.S.

Early in the pandemic, meat plants slowed their production and Americans feared meat shortages as workers became ill. Some died

There are an estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The rates of uninsured for health care are high for the population. Not all plant workers are undocumented but the agricultural industry and others are known to rely on undocumented workers and immigrants with legal status. 

Undocumented workers are not eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid or Medicare and most do not have health care coverage through their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

Many forgo health care to avoid exposing their undocumented status or affecting future chances for citizenship. Some states provide health coverage with state funding regardless of status, but others deny health care even to pregnant women. 

Some immigrants get health care through non-profit community clinics, but the clinics usually only provide preventive and primary care. Often undocumented immigrants will only seek care when the situation is dire at more costly emergency rooms.

RNC brags about Trump's record on NYC's public housing

The RNC featured a video focusing on the Trump administration's funding for public housing with several people of color talking about the ways Mayor de Blasio has failed them and how the administration has stepped in to improve public housing projects.

One noteworthy thing here, following the convention's theme of trying to appeal to Black voters, is the way that the feature used the interracial politics among Black and brown people. One woman proclaimed that "illegal immigrants" were being placed in public housing in front of Black Americans who had been on waiting lists for affordable housing for years.

However, according to the organization Justice for Immigrants, only refugees, victims of trafficking, and immigrants admitted for legal residence are eligible for public housing — not undocumented immigrants. If anything, mixed-status housing is permitted, but it still requires at least one family member to be a citizen, or deemed an "eligible immigrant." 

Ironically, though, Trump got his start as a landlord in New York City, where he and his father managed several apartment buildings throughout the boroughs. In the 1970s, early in his career, the Department of Justice investigated the Trumps for unfair housing practices against Black and brown New Yorkers and eventually sued them in 1973 for discriminatory practices. In 2016, Trump said he did not know what was happening at the time, but he and his father were both named as defendants on the lawsuit. The Trumps settled the case without admitting guilt.

Trump has also spoken throughout the summer about his tactics to remove low-income housing from suburbs, usually in tandem with his words blasting protests against racial injustice and inequality. 

Ivanka jokes about Trump's 'communication style.' Not all are laughing.

Fact check: Cotton claims Biden 'sent pallets of cash to the ayatollahs.' Needs context.

This claim, from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., refers to a $400 million payment the Obama administration made to Iran in January 2016 on the same day Iran released several American prisoners and implemented the (since disbanded) nuclear deal. 

That sum was actually part of a $1.7 billion settlement to Iran for a decades-long legal dispute that was before an international tribunal in The Hague, the State Department said at the time. The agency characterized the timing of the payment and the release of the American prisoners as coincidental.

A Wall Street Journal report at the time characterized the payment to Iran as a "secretly organized" airlift of euros, Swiss francs and other currencies given to Tehran. Cotton has been a vocal critic of the payment for years, calling even in 2016 that it "ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”

Fact check: Ivanka Trump claims Trump built 'most robust testing system in the world.' That's inaccurate.

President Trump built “the most robust testing system in the world,” daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump claimed Thursday night. 

This is inaccurate. Experts say U.S. testing is far too limited to gauge the true size of the country’s uncontrolled and fast-moving outbreak, as high rates of positive tests indicate that many milder cases are going undetected. Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to report shortages of supplies and lab backups leave people waiting weeks for test results. The U.S. has actually begun conducting fewer tests than it was in July, even as the outbreak spreads rapidly.

As White House crowd chants 'four more years,' Biden tweets the country 'can't take' it

  

Biden responds to RNC attacks: 'How safe do you feel in Donald Trump’s America?'

Giuliani warns about NYC crime — but stats paint a different picture

Trump attorney and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered a bleak picture of crime in New York, arguing that protests about police violence have led to lawlessness. 

The stats show that violent crime in NYC has been in decline for years. Murders did spike in the first six months of 2020 but remain on pace to be far lower than at the end of Giuliani's time in office.