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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.

Trump brags about COVID-19 success as cases near 6 million, over 180K deaths

Trump spent a portion of his speech praising his response to the coronavirus, which has received scant mentions during the RNC this week while attempting to paint a rosy picture of it being a thing of the past.

He claimed his administration has “pioneered” treatments and America “has among the lowest case fatality rates of any major country in the world.” COVID-19 has killed tens of thousands of Americans from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Guam to the continental United States.

It has claimed the lives of more than 180,000 people in the U.S. since the end of February and has neared 6 million cases, according to an NBC News tally.

Harris criticizes massive White House crowd

Trump overlooks record deportations of Obama-Biden administration

President Trump ridiculed Joe Biden for spending his entire career opening borders. But the Obama-Biden administration is often criticized by its own allies for record deportations of immigrants.

During their administration, immigration from Mexico was virtually zero as more Mexicans and their children left the U.S. than migrated to the country.

There were spikes in migrations of unaccompanied children and families under President Obama and Biden, but apprehensions of people at the border — a measure of migration levels used by the government — rose in fiscal 2019 to its highest annual level in 12 years, according to the Pew Research Center.

Fact check: No evidence for Trump's COVID-19 vaccine claim

“In recent months, our nation, and the entire planet, has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy. Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge. We are delivering lifesaving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner!” Trump claimed on Thursday night. 

This is largely false. The U.S. is still struggling to meet the challenge of the deadly coronavirus, which is still spreading rapidly and killing sometimes more than a thousand people a day while other countries have managed to reduce transmission and dramatically reduce deaths. The U.S. has a quarter of the globe's confirmed infections, despite having just 4.2 percent of the global population. Meanwhile, testing is limited and shortages of personal protective equipment persist six months after the first days of the pandemic.

The president boasts of lifesaving therapies, but critics argue there isn't enough evidence to back up this claim. One treatment, Remdesivir, has been shown to reduce deaths in severely ill patients with COVID-19. The U.S. recently approved the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19, but without results from randomized clinical trials  — the gold standard of medical research — there’s no clear proof the plasma treatment saved lives. Studies have shown that the treatment is safe and other research suggests it holds promise for treating patients, though.

There is also no evidence that an effective vaccine will be delivered by the end of the year. There are four vaccines currently in clinical trials in the U.S, with the one from Moderna furthest along. But it’s impossible to know if these vaccines will prove effective. 

“Vaccines don’t always work,” one expert told NBC News earlier this year.

Trump mocks Biden giving blue-collar workers ‘hugs and even kisses’

Donald Trump won a round of laughs from his audience when he said Joe Biden, for nearly five decades, “took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain — and then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship their jobs to China and many other distant lands.”

He took an extended pause after saying “kisses,” which was met with a round of laughs.

The reference was likely to accusations of inappropriate touching leveled against Biden throughout the years. Trump, meanwhile, has been accused by more than a dozen women of varying levels of misconduct.

Trump, with White House as literal backdrop, talks about its history as critics say he’s violating the law

Trump embedded references to the country’s past presidents, such as Lincoln, Grant and Eisenhower, and the work they did in the White House as he gives a speech from the People’s House.

“Gathered here at our beautiful and majestic White House — known all over the world as the People's House — we cannot help but marvel at the miracle that is our Great American Story,” Trump said. “This has been the home of larger-than-life figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson who rallied Americans to bold visions of a bigger and brighter future. Within these walls lived tenacious generals like Presidents Grant and Eisenhower who led our soldiers in the cause of freedom.” 

Critics and ethics experts have routinely hammered the president for hosting a political convention — that included the performance of official duties — at the White House, which they say is a violation of federal law that prohibits government employees from participating in political activities. (The White House, which was built by slaves, has long been viewed as a nonpartisan space.) 

White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who gave a speech, was excoriated by a government watchdog for repeatedly violating the federal law called the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan politics. Ivanka Trump, a senior aide, also gave a speech at the White House, raising similar issues.

Trump Cabinet members watch speech, mostly without masks

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and others watch a speech during the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on Aug. 27, 2020.NBC News

Undocumented immigrants without health care were among 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. But the coronavirus 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 those uninsured are high for the population. Not all plant workers are undocumented but the agricultural industry and others are known to rely on these 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. 

Trump accepts nomination for president

President Trump on Thursday accepted the Republican nomination for president.

"My fellow Americans, tonight, with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism, I profoundly accept this nomination for president of the United States," he said, deviating from prepared remarks that said "proudly accept."

The changed was not unnoticed on Twitter.

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.