Trump’s public appearances have been sparse since the election, and he kept his message brief and mostly on-topic in the Rose Garden, though he cheered the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 30,000 points and advancements in coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
“We give thanks for the vaccines and therapies that will soon end the pandemic. It’s just such a tremendous feeling to know that they’re coming, and they’ll be coming probably starting next week or shortly thereafter,” Trump said. Trump diverted from script at one point in an apparent reference to a recent comment by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has been increasingly vocal in his criticisms of the president.
“We send our love to every member of the armed forces and the law enforcement heroes risking their lives to keep America safe, to keep America great – and, as I say, America first,” Trump said to modest applause from the audience in the Rose Garden. “It shouldn’t go away from that: America first.”