The White House is getting ready to host a slate of lavish holiday parties, pandemic be darned

·2 min read

'Tis the season to cancel your holiday get-togethers — and send that message in a Christmas card to the White House as well.

Even though the deadly, contagious coronavirus is still spreading unchecked across the country, the White House is still expected to host more than a dozen indoor parties this holiday season, officials tell The Washington Post. And while the White House insists those parties will be safe, supporters of the president who have been invited are skeptical.

Throughout December, the Republican Party will pay millions of dollars to hold several parties at the White House, including a large congressional ball on Dec. 10, officials tell the Post. Most of the events will feature more than 50 guests, and they won't be tested in advance, one official said. Supporters of President Trump, many of them COVID-19 skeptics and from outside the Washington, D.C., area, have been invited, putting not just attendees but dozens of White House employees at risk as the pandemic spreads more wildly than ever.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokesperson for the first lady, told the Post that this year's parties will have "smaller guest lists," require masks, and have protections in place for safely sharing food. "Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” Grisham said. But White House allies who have been invited to multiple parties say their invitations give no indication of mask requirements of social distancing.

Even if the White House pushes ahead despite COVID-19's dangers, one would think the Christmas-weary first lady would at least use them as an excuse to cancel festivities.

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