GOP convention takeaways: What virus? Fear motivates

  • The White House stands ready for President Donald Trump to speak from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump refused to allow the coronavirus to deny him the crowd he craved for the Republican National Convention. He ordered up a scene never before seen at the White House: an American president using the South Lawn as the official backdrop for such overtly political activity. The federal guidelines about keeping distance, avoiding crowds and wearing masks to fight the spread of the virus were emphatically ignored.