Republicans Mock Safety Measures At Holiday Parties As COVID Casualties Soar
A video featuring members of a Republican club in New York dancing in a congo line at a holiday party went viral this week, following a trend of Republicans across the nation flouting COVID-19 safety guidelines to hold events in December as the pandemic continues to worsen.
The video showed members of the Whitestone Republican Club dancing maskless to the song "You Should be Dancing" by the Bee Gees at an indoor gathering held on Dec. 9 in Queens, New York.
New York Gov. Cuomo was quick to slam the "COVID conga lines" during a Tuesday press briefing.
"I saw the video. COVID conga lines are not smart, that's my official position. Why you would do an unmasked conga line in the middle of a COVID pandemic, whatever your political persuasion, defies a logical explanation," he said on Tuesday.
The conga-line reveling was not the only instance of Republican groups ignoring coronavirus precautions to hold holiday celebrations.
In Texas, for instance, the Williamson County Republican Party defied the county's safety warnings by planning a potluck event for Christmas. The invites didn't mention any coronavirus safety guidelines.
That party followed the fining of a county judge, Bill Gravell, after he violated his own stay-at-home order. The Republican judge pleaded guilty in November for attending a birthday party in the spring.
In North Carolina, Haywood County Republicans and the Smoky Mountain Republican Women protested Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's mandatory COVID-19 lockdown with a "Can't Coop up Christmas" party in December.
In the same month, the North Carolina Republican Party hosted five events, with one called the "Victory Party," further flouting safety guidelines. Photos of the indoor event showed maskless guests who did not social distance, a local affiliate noted, adding that North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis was seen at the party ignoring basic safety measures.
North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger also hosted a Christmas party, after which several people had to quarantine.
Meanwhile, a recent YouGov poll found that Democrats intend to hold smaller holiday gatherings when compared to Republicans, with nearly half of Democrats saying they plan to celebrate the holidays with only their own households.
Sixty percent of Republicans and only 40 percent of Democrats plan on celebrating with others, in general, this year, the poll showed.
In spite of safety warnings and COVID-19 spikes across the country, Donald Trump has hosted a number of holiday parties at the White House. A video of one of the events showed crowded guests with no masks.
After one White House party, Trump's campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis contracted the coronavirus.
Joining the White House, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also planned indoor holiday parties, ignoring his own department's public health guidelines.
On Dec. 16, Pompeo was forced to quarantine just a day after his holiday party. He tested negative but had been exposed to someone with the virus. The State Department would not reveal where his exposure was from. The secretary of state was also forced to cancel his final December holiday party following his coronavirus contact.
At the time of publication, the United States has surpassed 18 million coronavirus cases and 323,000 deaths.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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