President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman defended White House plans to hold numerous indoor holiday season receptions and parties despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, saying that if it’s safe for Americans to “loot businesses” then it’s safe for them to celebrate indoors.
“Is it setting a good example for the public for the White House to be holding in-person holiday parties?” a reporter asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protests, you can also go to a Christmas party,” McEnany told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.
“You can celebrate the holiday of Christmas and you can do it responsibly,” she added.
Q: "Is it setting a good example for the public for the White House to be holding in-person holiday parties?"
McEnany: "If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protest — you can also go to a Christmas party." pic.twitter.com/7V83BzH2pO
— The Hill (@thehill) December 2, 2020
The remark appeared to be a reference to Trump’s frequently belittling of the largely peaceful BLM protesters as looters and rioters.
The Daily Mail published footage of what it called a Christmas reception at the White House on Tuesday evening hosted by the president. The video, which was streamed live on Facebook by national committeewoman for the Oklahoma GOP Pam Pollard, showed dozens of people crammed into the Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together as they listened to the president speak.
(Video is a Facebook livestream from an RNC committeewoman)
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) December 2, 2020
McEnany’s remarks come days after a holiday that public-health experts foresee creating “a surge superimposed upon a surge” in the national COVID-19 case count.
The United States logged 14 million Covid-19 cases Wednesday just hours after setting three grim records: the highest number of daily deaths, new infections and hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
The U.S. reported 2,777 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday alone, according to an NBC News tally. The country registered nearly 205,000 new cases of Covid-19 on the same day, a figure that comes just a month after the U.S. single-day record topped 100,000 cases for the first time. Meanwhile, more people than ever are hospitalized. The Covid Tracking Project reported that 100,000 people were hospitalized across the country.
Our daily update is published. States reported 1.4 million tests, 196k cases, and 2,733 deaths. There are 100,226 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US —the first time hospitalizations have exceeded 100k. pic.twitter.com/8QSKujBGao
— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) December 3, 2020