Washington, Dec 6 (IANS) The White House has planned to host a series of indoor holiday parties, despite warnings from top health officials regarding the unabated coronavirus resurgence across the country, according to media reports.
An NBC News report said that one such party was held on December 1 where President Donald Trump made a brief appearance.
According to the report, several people in attendence were without face masks, including Republican National Convention chair Ronna McDaniel, who has tested positive for the virus in September, just few days before the President had confirmed his diagnosis.
Shrugging off concerns over the indoor gatherings, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters: “If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protests, you can also go to a Christmas party. You can celebrate the holiday of Christmas, and you can do it responsibly.
“We will engage in the celebration of Christmas.”
In a statement last week, First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said that the White House would “celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah while providing the safest environment possible”, NBC News reported.
According to a Washington Post report, the President and the First Lady “are determined to have a final holiday season” in the White House and they are planning at least 25 separate holiday parties over the coming weeks, each of which will include more than 50 guests.
The newspaper also reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has scheduled a number of indoor parties, including one at the State Department where 900 people have been invited.
The White House’s decision to go ahead with holiday parties came when the country’s top public health officials have warned of the dangers of indoor gatherings over the coming months, reports Xinhua news agency.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned last week that the next three months will be “the most difficult” in public health history.
The US is currently the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 14,575,623 and 281,134, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The country has set new world records of single-day Covid-19 case count and hospitalizations.
It took only six days for the US to add 1 million new infections.