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.”
However, the Commerce department’s press secretary, Kevin Manning, defended the criticism and pointed out that 12-hour working days are standard for Ross and the position involves a great deal of travel – no doubt a tall order for anyone in their 80s, to be fair.
“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.”
The President’s speech at the United Nations summit also included his taking a stance against countries who punish, jail or execute people based on sexual orientation, saying that his administration stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Trump also reinforced the U.S. championing of women, stating that “nations that empower women are much wealthier, safer and much more politically stable.”
TRUMP: “We stand in solidarity with LGBT people who live in countries that punish, jail, or execute based on sexual orientation” pic.twitter.com/qxfe94i5DD
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 24, 2019
President Trump found himself in hot water after tweeting what he saw in teen political activist, Greta Thunberg, saying that she came across as a “very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” per The Inquisitr earlier today.