First Lady Melania Trump gave a farewell message to the United States in a video, two days before the end of the term of her husband, President Donald Trump.
“My fellow Americans, it has been the greatest honour of my life to serve as first lady of the United States,” said Melania in the video released Monday on Twitter. Her husband has indefinitely been banned from the site.
“I have been inspired by incredible Americans across our country,” she said.
She thanked military and law enforcement members, but did not directly address the January 6 breach of the US Capitol by rioters spurred on by her husband’s repeated claims that the election had been “stolen”.
The incident resulted in five dead, including a Capitol police officer. Thousands of National Guards have been deployed to Washington, DC and state capitals around the country due to the threat of further violence surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A Farewell Message from First Lady Melania Trump pic.twitter.com/WfG1zg2mt4
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) January 18, 2021
Trump had previously said she was “disappointed and disheartened” by the violence, while also condemning “salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks and false and misleading accusations about me”.
In the video released on Monday, Trump encouraged US citizens to “be passionate in everything you do, and always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified”.
She addressed the surging coronavirus pandemic in the US, where more than 24 million COVID-19 infections and more than 398,000 deaths have been confirmed. These numbers are highest in both metrics of any country in the world.
Donald Trump has been criticised for allegedly playing down the threat of the virus as it first arrived in the US.
“I thank all of the nurses, doctors, healthcare professionals, manufacturing workers, truck drivers, and so many others who are working to save lives,” she said. “I grieve for the families who have lost a loved one due to the pandemic. Every life is precious.”
“The promise of this nation belongs to all of us,” Trump added in her farewell. “Do not lose sight of your integrity and values. There’s every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into our daily lives in all circumstances.”
Instead of attending Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, the former president is set to give a farewell address at 8am local time (13:00 GMT) on Wednesday before a sendoff ceremony on Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, DC.