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The State of the Union's Designated Survivor Was Holed up in a Secret Location


When President Donald Trump gave his third State of the Union Address on Feb. 4, at least one member of his cabinet skipped the proceedings. The absence wasn’t a boycott or a snub against No. 45, but instead part of a longstanding tradition intended to safeguard our nation’s government in the event of a mass-casualty incident.

Ahead of any occasion that sees a large number of U.S. leaders converge in one spot, a designated survivor is chosen to carry on the duties of the president should he and other members of his executive branch be taken out. Scroll down for more information about this fascinating ritual.

Who was the designated survivor at the State of the Union?

For his 2020 address, Trump and his staff selected Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to be the designated survivor. During the speech, which was held in the House Chamber of the United States Capitol, the former attorney was kept in an undisclosed, secure location outside of Washington, D.C.