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Politics White House hosts second Christmas party in two days despite warnings

12:46  03 december  2020
12:46  03 december  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The White House held a second Christmas reception on Wednesday evening. The White House continued its month of holiday celebrations on Wednesday evening, hosting a second indoor Christmas party in just two days despite health officials' warnings against large gatherings.

The White House has plans to host as many as 20 holiday parties this season, despite objections and warning against doing so. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was reportedly not concerned that the Christmas parties might be setting a bad example for the American public.

Mike Pompeo, Kid Rock posing for a photo: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The White House continued its month of holiday celebrations on Wednesday evening, hosting a second indoor Christmas party in just two days despite health officials' warnings against large gatherings.

President Trump and first lady Melania once again welcomed guests at the executive mansion in another of at least 25 holiday events they will host in December before they leave office.

Photos shared on social media showed guests dressed in ritzy evening gowns and formal attire with few to no masks or face coverings in sight.

In one photo, a group of 11 maskless attendees were seen huddling closely together as they posed for the camera.

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Similar scenes had unfolded on Tuesday when the White House kicked off its holiday season with a reception, where dozens of guests were seen crowding together without masks.

One person invited to reception, which was mostly attended by members of the Republican National Committee, had told DailyMail.com that the invitation made no mention of face masks or any COVID-related precautions.

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The White House is moving forward with plans to host nearly two dozen large holiday gatherings in the coming weeks, despite CDC recommendations "If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protests, you can also go to a Christmas party ," White House press secretary Kayleigh

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Wednesday night's event appeared to have the same lax rules, however the party drew a somewhat more prominent crowd with country stars Kid Rock and Zac Brown making an appearance.

Neither of the country singers, both of whom are supporters of the president, wore masks, according to photos.

The celebrations come on the same day that the U.S. recorded 2,733 daily deaths - the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed with more than 200,000 recorded in a 24-hour period, and hospitalizations have hit a record high of 100,226.

The dramatic surge has left the CDC urging people to scale back their holiday plans to avoid any superspreader events, and to avoid all holiday travel.

The White House nonetheless is pushing forward with its social calendar, with plans for a Hannukah party, a Congressional Ball and other festive events announced for later this month.

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Secretary Mike Pompeo was also reported on Wednesday to be planning his own holiday festivities at the State Department with his wife Susan in the coming weeks.

According to The Washington Post, Pompeo has already sent out invitations to up to 900 guests for an indoor party on December 15.

A copy of an invitation obtained by the Post shows the event, titled, 'Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays' will take place in the Benjamin Franklin Room at noon.

A spokesman said officials 'plan to fully enforce social distancing measures at this reception, and face coverings are mandatory for admittance.'

The rep, who spoke anonymously, said guests will also be served food and beverages individually and all staff will be required to wear gloves and masks.

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However he did not specify how officials will enforce social distancing in a room with 900 guests, according to the Post.

The event will be followed by another reception for the Washington Diplomatic Corps the next day on December 16, with invitations sent to 180 ambassadors and their spouses.

Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: Secretary Mike Pompeo will also host his own holiday festivities at the State Department with his wife Susan in the coming weeks. He is pictured above at the 2019 Holiday Reception in Honor of Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions © Provided by Daily Mail Secretary Mike Pompeo will also host his own holiday festivities at the State Department with his wife Susan in the coming weeks. He is pictured above at the 2019 Holiday Reception in Honor of Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions a group of people posing for a photo: Pompeo (pictured in 2019) has reportedly sent out invitiations to 900 guests for the 'Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays' event that will take place in the Benjamin Franklin Room © Provided by Daily Mail Pompeo (pictured in 2019) has reportedly sent out invitiations to 900 guests for the 'Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays' event that will take place in the Benjamin Franklin Room

A State Department spokesman told the Post the attendance will be optional and said the event will be 'broken into two separate receptions to minimize the number of guests in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at one time.'

The massive celebrations come despite Washington D.C.'s restriction on indoor gatherings which is limited to fewer than 10 people.

Earlier on Wednesday the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol warned lawmakers and staff not to attend holiday receptions 'outside of your family unit,' which would include the upcoming Congressional Ball at the White House.

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In a 'dear colleague' letter to congressional staff, Dr Brian P. Monahan cited rising cases on Capitol Hill as the reason for the precaution.

'Due to experience in the Congress of increased disease frequency occurring in certain circumstances, I recommend that you DO NOT ATTEND dinners, receptions, or restaurant gatherings outside of your family unit,' he wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by DailyMail.com.

The annual black tie Congressional Ball, which is on December 10, is one of the biggest parties the White House hosts during the holiday season.

Lawmakers and senior congressional staff put on their fancy dress to enjoy the appetizers, alcohol and decorations with administration officials. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump usually put in an appearance.

It's unclear how many will make the trek down from Capitol Hill this year.

Earlier White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the administration's decision to go forward with the parties as COVID cases are on the rise.

'If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in a protest, you can also go to a Christmas party,' she said at her press briefing.

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One person invited to a holiday reception told DailyMail.com that the invitation made no mention of face masks or any COVID-related precautions.

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One White House invite, in cursive writing on a blue background with the presidential seal at the top, merely requested 'the pleasure of your company' at one of the many holiday events the White House is hosting, sometimes up to two a day over the next few weeks.

Invitations to at least 20 White House parties have already gone out, The New York Times reported.

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Queen cancelling Christmas at Sandringham is a 'watershed moment' .
Speaking on True Royalty TV's Royal Beat, Robert Jobson said he can't see the Cambridges continuing with the annual Sandringham tradition after this year's gathering was cancelled.Her Majesty, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family on their Norfolk estate.

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