At multiple points during President Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross appeared to be completely unconscious.
Ross, who is 81, fell asleep for a solid 15 minutes according to several videos recorded during the speech in New York City. Most embarrassingly, Trump spoke about the ongoing attempts to negotiate a trade deal with China, a task that Ross is supposed to help lead. Yikes!
This isn’t the first time that the Secretary of Commerce has conked out while Donny T is talking. In May 2017 Ross was filmed falling asleep with translation headphones on while Trump was giving a speech in Saudi Arabia.
A July report in Politico cited a former Commerce adviser who claimed Ross “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.”
Ross, apparently embarrassed by his mid-speech nap, issued a statement regarding the matter:
This is fake news. I wear hearing aids and, during President Trump’s inspiring speech, which covered in detail the entire range of significant issues facing the world, was concentrating on what was being said.
Immediately following the President’s remarks, I attended bilateral meetings with the leaders of the United Kingdom and India, and, later in the day, will have follow-up meetings with officials from the United Kingdom and South Korea. Additionally, throughout the entirety of the UN General Assembly, I attended events or am planning to participate in meetings with the governments of Pakistan, Poland, Egypt, Japan, Greece, and Vietnam.
On Sunday, I will depart on twelve days of official travel to London, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Yangon, Naypyidaw, Canberra, and Sydney. This is not the schedule of someone with low energy.Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce
How to stop falling asleep during speeches
If you want to avoid embarrassing yourself by falling asleep during an important speech like Ross did, it’s important that you get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. There is no such thing as “catching up” on your sleep.
While some people are natural short sleepers who can thrive on less than 8 hours of sleep each night, they are extremely rare. If you’re reading this, you are almost certainly not one of them. Take after Joe Rogan and make getting enough sleep a priority and you’ll avoid embarrassing mishaps like falling asleep during a speech (or even while driving a Tesla!).
It’s important to follow sleep hygiene practices like cooling down your room, turning off lights, avoiding the use of electronics before bedtime, etc. If you still have trouble falling or staying asleep, you may suffer from insomnia and should speak to your doctor.