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Caught on video: El Paso GOP appears to follow Trump’s lead with lack of masks, distancing

El Paso Republicans hold a viewing party for President Trump's RNC acceptance speech.
El Paso Republicans hold a viewing party for President Trump's RNC acceptance speech.
El Paso Republicans gather for a viewing party for President Trump's RNC acceptance speech.

EL PASO, Texas -- Coronavirus concerns didn't inhibit a crowd from being staged for President Donald Trump's finale to the Republican National Convention.

It was a scene never before seen at the White House: About 1,500 people packed tightly together Thursday night on the South Lawn so Trump could accept his party’s nomination for re-election in front of a roaring crowd.

The federal guidelines about keeping distance, avoiding crowds and wearing face masks to fight the spread of the virus were not followed.

Borderland Republicans who gathered at the GOP's El Paso headquarters for a Trump acceptance speech viewing party seemed to follow the national party's lead.

Face masks were not required and few could be seen wearing them; chairs were placed close together in a room - with no space for social distancing, according to images captured by an ABC-7 photographer.

"Of maybe 30 people, five had masks - I was one of them," the photographer said afterwards. "People (were) greeting each other and hugging... social distancing was non-existent."

Bob Peña of the Republican Alliance of El Paso described the gathering differently.

"We encouraged everyone to wear a mask but because many people were eating and drinking, they might not have been wearing a mask all the time," Peña told ABC-7 on Friday.

He added, "I know we were under the building capacity guidelines, we only had 43 people there. I know we were following the safety guidelines."

But this wasn't the first time in recent weeks that the El Paso GOP has held gatherings that seemingly lacked masks and social distancing. A local event with the state GOP chairman that was reported on by ABC-7 earlier this month drew scrutiny too.

Texas' Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order last month that remains in effect requiring Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces and maintain six feet of social distancing from others in group settings. The measure allows fines to be imposed for violators. 

However, the City of El Paso has largely stopped issuing citations for breaking public health orders. Abbott on prior occasions has criticized local governments for not enforcing his Covid mandates.

Meantime, four people tested at the Republican National Convention gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, came back positive for Covid-19. Health officials said it serves as a reminder that events that eschew safety measures may contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

Two attendees and two individuals working at the event were found to be infected, according to a news release from Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located.

RNC delegates from New Mexico who traveled to either events in Charlotte or Trump’s speech at the White House are obligated to self-quarantine as they return home to a state that requires face masks and limits public gatherings.

A spokeswoman for the New Mexico governor's office on Friday said the delegates are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine provision that applies to most travelers as they enter or return to New Mexico.

(The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)

Campaign 2020 / Coronavirus / El Paso / Health / News / Texas Politics / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



          1. His problem is he doesn’t remember who he stole the identities from. That’s why he can’t juggle his schizo personalities properly anymore. He got busted with his markturner impersonation.

  1. I hope they all spread covid to each other. I wonder which alias belongs to Bob Peña: madcowmike, ferotheass, nadouche, KKK1, originalMAGAtard, etc. We know it’s not sunbaked thug jamesben.

    1. Even though Republicans are largely responsible for the continued spread of the virus, I truly can’t hope they get infected. I don’t want any of us sick with this stuff. I just want a responsible person in the Oval Office who will effectively deal with it instead of lie and procrastinate about it.

      1. Yeah crazy Joe is dealing with it hiding in his basement. Jo Ho 2020 is a trainwreck. Even Demos want him to get out in public but he is a coward. At least President Trump is out in public as we saw all this week. Trump 2020!

  2. A long time who they TOLD you to put your seat belts on. A you did it! And you do it!! So shut your packer and slap them bitches on. Arrogant son of a bitches!

    1. Alberto is all talk no action as usual. Hey moron you don’t bring a baseball bat to a gunfight. How about that antifa in Kenosha that brought a skateboard to a gunfight? It didn’t end well for him.

  3. Mexican Republicans? Is that a thing? Look you Coconuts, just because you claim to be Republicans, Trump still does not like you! He just want your vote even if he thinks you are Rapists and Criminals. November elections will show 95 thousand Democratic votes for Biden, and 30 Republican votes for Trump. This is Biden Country, not Trump country. You guys are in the wrong town to vote Republican. Go to Georgia or north Carolina they love Racists and White Nationalists there. Oh, and there must be a few MexAmericans there that think they are loved by Trump, too. See ya!

    1. Have you driven around town lately? I took the day off today and just drove around. I was surprised at what I saw. The Trump Pence yard signs were almost 4 to 1 compared to Biden. People are becoming more aware of the damage that Biden will do to this country, our retirements, our bank accounts and our safety. They know a vote for Biden is a vote for lawlessness and Anarchy.

      1. Original maga your are fukin delusional and a liar like yo mommas fukin friend while you watch Because your breed allows that flexibility and acceptance. We aren’t that stupid to place our preferences in-our front yard. Voting was Created for a reason. Touch up on discretion. There a reason voting was created! Not to be a dumbass and place signs in your front yard.

      2. Now MAGA you know none of that about Sleepy Joe is true. I have only seen one bumper sticker for the orange buffoon, and I’ve yet to see a yard sign for him. Where are you seeing them? Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any Biden signs either.

        1. Biden signs? Good laugh. You haven’t visited the right neighborhoods because you live in a bubble. There are Trump/Pence flags and pennants flying in El Paso. You’re just too blind to see them. Well over 50,000 Republican voters in El Paso will be voting this November and obviously not for Jo Ho 2020 or typhoid Mary. Happy TDS.

        2. Parts of the west side. A few on the east side. Mostly NE. Not a ton for sure. Certainly not like most normal election cycles but there some out there.

          1. I agree its not like the usual elections. We used to see yard signs everywhere in years past. Here in the lower valley, I don’t think I’ve seen a single sign, and its only 71 days til the election.

    2. Plenty of Mexican-American Republicans in El Paso moron. You weren’t at the Trump MAGA rally to see it back in 2018. I did. Great event. Your problem is you live in a psycho libtard bubble and in denial. Biden country? El Paso Democrats voted for Bernie moron. BTW – Texas is Trump country and he is 7 points ahead of Biden for the second week in a row. In closing you are delusional. Biden will lose.

      1. The orange buffoon is 7 points ahead in one poll but on the realclearpolitics site the average is +3.5 for the orange buffoon in TX. Pretty close. I thought by now the orange buffoon would be much further ahead. Still if all the states where Biden is ahead were to come in for him, he would have 304 electoral votes. But that doesn’t mean squat. Have you noticed that neither one of the candidates received the usual after convention boost? Very strange indeed.

    1. The cages that Obama put into place to incarcerate illegal children coming into the country are now racist. Nothing said back then when your coconut president put them into place. Why is that alberto pedo muerto? I’ll await your answer. Not.

      1. Obama held unaccompanied minors until relatives and/or sponsors could be located for them. When that happened, they were immediately released. They were not separated from their parents and held hostage to convince the parents to drop their asylum claims.

  4. Looks like all the girls are out in force again. They forgot though that the CDC said the masks don’t help to contain the COVIN. But yet here they are having a rag day ranting about nothing actually. Just because they can due to our Freedom of Speech rith. The right never said these girls had to be right on anything. It shows too.

  5. Caught on video. Rev. Al Sharpton and his followers/marchers seen in D.C. yesterday at the black people’s march not wearing face masks or social distancing. But KVIA will disregard that story.

    1. They were not wearing masks while speaking. Everyone else was wearing them. Masks are not political. Stop looking at them in that light. They are working in spite of what the not too bright among us say.

      1. But even you admitted they were not social distancing. Plenty of videos like on ABC News showing non speakers not wearing face masks. But we know you are the fake news man and hypocrite. BTW – How’s Darlene?

  6. Feo learned Spanish in the County jail. Chango? That’s terribly offensive, sir. Caught on video, Trump Ranting and Raving using the White House as his personal prop as 1500 people, without masks of course, look on him with Loving eyes. Caught on video, not one Trump supporter EVER wears a mask, ANYWHERE ANYTIME!

          1. I see nadodave taught you how to properly say guey. See you are a dumbass niwit! Another product of El Paso’s education. No comprende English.

          1. Still can’t understand your gibberish. Speak English, not Trumpish. His language is for Nazis, Racists, and all around Idiots like you, pinchi Pocho!

      1. Trump, dummy, is NO FDR. He is not even a president. He is a Clown passing as president. His Vaudeville show and three ring Circus will finally close on November 3, 2020. And not a minute too soon!

        1. You missed the point nitwit. So daft! FDR set the precedent of using the Whitehouse for that type of political event. BTW – President Trump will be your President for another 4 years. Biden/Harris is the 3 ring circus.

  7. How’s that Go Fund Me Page for the Kenosha Killer going that you started? I’m sure you’ve heard from the NRA and Trump by now. Trump has said he will foot the bill for his supporters when they go to jail. And the NRA wants to make sure there is always at least one psycho loose with a high powered weapon and a 100 capacity magazine. Law and Order President? Trump blowing smoke up your asses again, and you love it.

    1. How are the 3 antifa criminals in Kenosha doing? Two pushing daisies and one that can’t use his right hand to jack off anymore. You contributing to their Go Fund Me? The same attorney that successfully represented the Covington kids against the libelous leftist media will represent Rittenhouse. Clearly self defense. BTW – There are millions of ARs in the U.S. not just one nitwit.

      1. Your NRA membership will be canceled forever if you don’t stick up for killers loose in the streets of America. Clear cut case of murder. Only a Brainwashed moron will believe this kid will ever see the light of day again. Maybe you can adopt him and send him NRA weekly newsletters and Ramen in jail while he grows old and demented like you, old Nazi fart.

        1. So communist you never hear of due process? The Constitution? Innocent until proven guilty? Clear cut case of self defense. No jury will convict him on the murder charges. At least the kid had the balls to take on you dumbass coward antifa. Keep on bringing skateboards to a gunfight. You’ll lose. BTW – You’re a nitwit.

  8. I know who FDR is, Dumbass! And Trump is no FDR. He is also no Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan, Washington…etc. Back then he wouldn’t have qualified to even sweep the White House grounds, even if he was a millionaire. Used to be that presidents were people of Honor, Empathy, and Honesty, all of these qualities that your Racist,Bigot, Pussygrabber has never possessed.

      1. Be a good Boy and get back to knitting a maga shawl for your pussygrabber. He’ll need it after he is retired and put in a rocking chair to wonder how he screwed up his chance to do some good for the American people. BIDEN/HARRIS2020!!

        1. Why don’t you get back to hugging with crazy Joe Biden the real pussy grabber. He’ll even smell your fat ass. Just ask Tara Reade. Even Hollywood Rose McGowen believes her. Claims your Joe is a rapist. President Trump has done plenty of good for the American people. Your problem is you are not American people. Just a subversive pinko communist. TRUMP/PENCE 2020!!!

          1. Hey, stupid! American people aren’t just the Racist, Illiterate, Bigots. There are those of us Americans who love our country enough to point out that your so called president has turned our America into a one-man shit show. 2021 will be a new day for ALL Americans as we try to forget the last 4 years of your Drama Queen Trump. Days will go by normally and Americans will celebrate the return of a Real president, not a Twitter president or a Loud Mouth Clown president who needs more attention than a toddler wanting his diapers changed every hour!!

          2. The claims that the orange buffoon has done anything positive for the nation has been completely debunked by all fact checkers. Even those on FOX (the Volkischer Beobachter).

          3. The leftist anti-Trump fact checkers? How rich. He hasn’t done anything for you libtards and your far leftist ideology. In your case we all know you are a real Communist with severe Trump Derangement Syndrome. Your TDS make you look really dumb. Enlighten me. What did Obama do?……crickets? Or better yet what has dementia Joe done?

  9. Baby Trump needs his diapers changed. Sign up at your nearest Republican Precinct! No experience necessary. Just a love for a Racist, Imbecile, Clown who is always full of Shit!

  10. This is amazing. There are over 70 comments on this story but only 3 comments on the story about a woman from El Paso who jumped out of a 18 wheeler truck from sex/human trafficking.

    Come on El Paso, we can do better. Put and comment on the news that matter. By the way, I’m a Republican and I wear my mask everywhere.

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