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Trump to host up to two Christmas parties a day with no mention of masks on invites

Officials say parties at the executive mansion limited to 50 people, despite warnings on Covid

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 01 December 2020 19:53 GMT
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The annual party season at the White House has begun, with Donald Trump set to host two indoor receptions on some days without a mandate on masks, according to reports.

Over a dozen parties and the congressional ball on 10 December are due to take place between now and the month’s end, the Washington Post reported, with attendees not asked to wear masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  

According to multiple persons who received invitations, nor was there any word about coronavirus precautions at the White House parties, which the Republican Party pays to host, the Post reported.

Washington DC, meanwhile, announced tougher coronavirus restrictions only last week, as Covid-19 continued to spike across the capital and the United States as a whole.

No more than 10 people are allowed indoors at one time, while no more than 25 people can meet outside.

On Tuesday, Melania Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said some Covid-19 precautions would be taken at the parties, and that attendance at the events would be “a very personal choice”.  

She added that attendees would be provided with masks, and that most would be tested prior to the event, with some 50 attendees inside the White House at a time, an official told the Post.

Ms Grisham said this year, there were “smaller guest lists, masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the State Floor”.

“Guests will enjoy food individually plated by chefs at plexiglass-protected food stations. All passed beverages will be covered. All service staff will wear masks and gloves to comply with food safety guidelines,” she added.

In addition to parties, other events at the White House this month include receptions and tours, which take place year-on-year.

Several Republicans were reported to have been shunned this holiday season, Politico reported, with moderate Republican senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse all believed to have not been invited to parties.  

They have repeatedly criticised Mr Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed almost 270,00 American lives, and infected 4.4 million in the previous month alone, and 13.6 million overall, according to John Hopkins University data.

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