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Melania Trump Ends Night of Rancor With Note of Empathy on Virus

  • First lady expresses sympathy for victims, pledges action
  • Women voters, swing states courted in second convention night
Lady Melania Trump speaks during the Republican National Convention on Aug. 25.

Lady Melania Trump speaks during the Republican National Convention on Aug. 25.

Photographer: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg

Updated on

First lady Melania Trump capped the second night of the Republican convention by attempting to soften the image of her highly divisive husband, forgoing attacks on Democrat Joe Biden to focus on the ravaging toll of coronavirus and the nation’s tortured racial history in a way Donald Trump usually avoids.

She acknowledged the deaths of more than 178,000 Americans and called for national unity in response -- a departure from the president’s customary handling of a virus he first downplayed and now seeks to put behind him. In between, Melania Trump called on the nation to see the president as she does, as a leader devoted to the safety of the country and deserving of a second term.