The US election is just around the corner, and if recent events are an indication of what’s to come, the countdown to November 3 is going to be a spectacle.
In the last month, there’s been a fiery presidential debate, a humiliating Borat scene featuring Donald Trump’s lawyer, and a coronavirus-infected White House.
But what we haven’t seen is raising eyebrows: The First Lady.
In an unusual break away from convention, Melania Trump is yet to set foot on the campaign trail.
This is despite Mr Trump working tirelessly to win votes – especially those of suburban white women whom his wife could help attract.
On Tuesday (local time), the First Lady backed out of plans to join her husband at a rally in Pennsylvania, a critical battleground where Joe Biden is beating the President by a polling average of 6.2 points.
“Suburban women, will you please like me?” Mr Trump said at the rally.
“Please. I saved your damn neighbourhood, okay?”
It was meant to be Melania’s first public appearance since recovering from COVID-19, and her first time on the campaign trail in a year.
Instead she blamed a “lingering cough” related to the coronavirus, with her chief of staff Stephanie Grisham assuring journalists the decision to skip the event was out of “an abundance of caution”.
“Mrs Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19,” Ms Grisham said.
The final presidential debate will take place on Thursday.
In the meantime, Melania has been campaigning from her keyboard on Twitter, claiming credit on behalf of the White House for a recent crackdown on a major pharmaceutical company found to be fuelling America’s opioid crisis.
This is admin will never stop fighting for the health & safety of the American people. This is another big step in defeating the #opioidcrisis. We will continue to protect our most vulnerable at all costs. #BeBest https://t.co/76f86k5taq
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 21, 2020
Missing: Melania. Last seen: September 29
The First Lady was last seen publicly on September 29, at the televised presidential debate between Mr Trump and Mr Biden in Cleveland, Ohio.
Days earlier, she attended the infamous “super spreader” White House Rose Garden event to introduce Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Barrett – with more than 250 guests packed closely together.
More recently on October 6, Melania copped criticism after a tape recording was leaked in which she called adult film star Stormy Daniels a “porn hooker” in 2018.
Ms Daniels is one of several women with whom the President has been accused of having affairs.
CNN cited a source as saying Melania has no upcoming appearances, nor does she have any campaign-related travel plans with the President.