[guest post by Dana]
Despite California’s Gov. Newsom continuing to reel from criticism for his ill-advised decision to violate state Covid-19 guidelines when he and a large party ate indoors at a local eating establishment and Speaker Pelosi forced to seriously scale back plans for an indoor dinner reception for new members at the Capitol because of criticism, the White House seems intent on violating its own guidelines by hosting a holiday party:
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, cautioned against holiday gatherings on Good Morning America on Monday and said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines apply to everyone, including the Trump administration, as First Lady Melania Trump is already planning a holiday reception and the White House outbreak continues to grow.
When asked about the White House’s holiday plans, which will likely be large and indoors, Adams urged all Americans to have small and “smart” celebrations and said the nation is at a “dire point” in the pandemic with increased cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Adams said he wants everyone to know that holiday parties risk becoming superspreader events and directed people to the CDC’s guidelines for holiday events, which he said apply to everyone, including people at the White House.
Mrs. Trump has already sent out invitations to the soiree slated for Nov. 30. Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham said that precautions were being taken to ensure a safe party:
The White House gatherings are scheduled to begin later this month, soon after the Thanksgiving holiday may give rise to another dangerous COVID-19 surge.
This year’s events will take place at least partly indoors, on the State Floor, according to Grisham, who added that there are “smaller guest lists” and that “masks will be required and available,” with social distancing measures encouraged and hand sanitizer stations posted throughout.
“Guests will enjoy food individually plated by chefs at plexiglass-protected food stations,” Grisham added. “All passed beverages will be covered. All service staff will wear masks and gloves to comply with food-safety guidelines.”
“Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” Grisham said. “It is a longstanding tradition for people to visit and enjoy the cheer and iconic decor of the annual White House Christmas celebrations.”
Politicians seem to believe that they alone are exempt from the rules that they establish and expect the rest of us to follow. We know that our personal decisions regarding Covid-19 should not be based on the foolish actions of the do as I say, not as I do crowd, whether they are medical professionals or elected officials:
public health expertselected officials turn on a dime, and suddenly minimize the importance of public health measures they advocated until yesterday, it doesn’t mean public health measures are unnecessary. It means those particular “experts”elected officials are unreliable and you should not listen to them.
ADDED: Count New York’s Gov. Cuomo among the elected leaders who didn’t consider the optics in having his elderly mother travel to his home for the holiday dinner:
On Monday afternoon, Cuomo indicated he would be having a small dinner when asked about his plans in an interview on a local radio station.
“The story is, my mom is going to come up and two of my girls, but the plans change,” Cuomo told WAMC radio, the NPR affiliate in New York’s Capital Region.
A few hours later, Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, told Insider the dinner is off.
“As the Governor said, ‘The story is my mom is going to come up and two of my girls is the current plan, but the plans change. That’s my plan. I’m going to work — I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Thanksgiving,’ and given the current circumstances with COVID, he will have to work through Thanksgiving and will not be seeing them,” Azzopardi told Insider in a statement early Monday evening.
He added: “Don’t tell his mom — she doesn’t know yet.”
The internet was quick to dunk on Cuomo, given how much he’s been telling New Yorkers to stay home and forsake a normal Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus pandemic and cases surging nationally.
In the Empire State, people are required to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. While Cuomo’s gathering of four would not violate any rules, the age of his mother and the notion that he would still proceed with a holiday dinner angered people online.