White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday defended the White House’s decision to continue its holiday parties, which, as CNN has previously reported, have already begun to flout public health recommendations.
When asked if it was responsible for the White House to be holding the receptions when health agencies are warning against large gatherings and of the impending massive impact the coronavirus will have on the country, McEnany said, “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.”
“You can do it responsibly, which is why the East Wing has noted that a lot smaller guest list, masks are going to be available, social distancing is going to be encouraged, hand sanitizing stations, among other measures. But we will engage in the celebration of Christmas and there will be a Hanukkah celebration as well,” she continued during the White House press briefing.
However, as CNN reported earlier this week, while there are some safety protocols in place for the events, most, if not all, of the holiday parties will still flout US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for size restrictions, as well as Washington, DC, restrictions for indoor gatherings, which is currently capped at 10 people.
In addition, publicly accessible social media images posted by partygoers indicate there was little social distancing at a White House holiday event on Monday, and many guests were not wearing masks.
The Trump White House itself has already been the epicenter of at least three Covid-19 outbreaks among staff and allies, and a series of events, such as holiday gatherings, will likely put in peril several hundred more guests, workers and staff.