Wilbur Ross Caught On Camera Sleeping During Donald Trump's UN Speech

Mark Mackay

The United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, was caught on camera grabbing 40 winks during President Donald Trump's address at the recent United Nations summit. While some considered the speech powerful, Ross -- now 81 years of age - evidently found the president's speech suitably disengaging to take a nap in the benches filled with world leaders.

While potentially amusing at first glance, Ross dozed off while Trump was addressing points on the current potential trade deal with China -- a key issue on the secretary's portfolio -- and another important topic of the U.S.'s current stance on the Iran situation. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were both listening attentively to the Commander-in-Chief while Ross appeared to have been sleeping for some 15 minutes. His eyes opened briefly once during that time, though he seemed to be peering out through a drowsy expression, CNBC News reported.

It's not the first time the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has come under fire for his apparent lack of stamina. He reportedly has something of a reputation of nodding off in meetings, according to an article published by Politico earlier this year. Speaking with a former adviser to the White House's Commerce department, organizers allegedly tend to steer him clear of catnap opportunities where he might drift off, the informant said in an interview with Politico.

"Because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen so they're very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings...There's a small window where he's able to focus and pay attention and not fall asleep."
"Secretary Ross is a tireless worker who is the sole decision-maker at the department...He routinely works 12-hour days and travels often, with visits to seven countries and eight states in the last three months to advance the president's agenda."