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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly plans to go “big and beautiful” for the holidays by hosting several parties in apparent defiance of the department’s coronavirus safety recommendations, including a 900-person gathering for Christmas.
According to reporting by The Washington Post, an invitation to the 900-person party “welcomes guests to a Dec. 15 event titled ‘Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays’ in the Benjamin Franklin Room, the department’s flagship reception space, which features cut-glass chandeliers and towering Corinthian columns.”
Invitations have reportedly already been sent to 900 potential attendees.
What makes the planned party unusual is that the department reportedly “sent out a notice to employees one week ago recommending that ‘any non-mission-critical events’ be changed to ‘virtual events as opposed to in-person gatherings.'”
However, that same week federal event planners “were told that the guidance did not apply to the upcoming functions they were working on: large indoor holiday parties hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife, Susan, on the eighth floor of the State Department involving hundreds of guests, food and drinks.”
When questioned about these parties, a State Department spokesperson reportedly told the Post “we plan to fully enforce social distancing measures at this reception, and face coverings are mandatory for admittance.”
In response to this, the Post, a far-left outlet, asked: “how he could expect attendees to keep masks on at a reception that includes food and drinks.”
It’s not clear whether the Post is aware that indoor dining at restaurants is currently allowed in dozens of states, including Democrat ones such as North Carolina.
— ChaHouseRaleigh (@chahouseraleigh) October 13, 2020
“All proper food and beverage safety precautions will be taken by catering services and staff — all will wear gloves and masks and any food or beverage will be served individually,” the spokesperson reportedly replied.
The Post’s so-called expert, Ian Lipkin, the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, claimed these precautions aren’t enough.
“He pointed specifically to the large invite list, the consumption of food and drinks, which results in unmasking, the presence of alcohol, which encourages guests to gather closer together, and music or other ambient noise, which causes people to speak louder and increases the amount of potential viral emissions,” the Post eagerly reported.
According to the Post, several other parties are scheduled for the upcoming days.
“On Dec. 16, Pompeo will host a reception for the Washington diplomatic corps at the State Department. Invites have gone out to about 180 foreign ambassadors, who are allowed to bring spouses,” the Post reported.
A State Department spokesperson reportedly told the paper that attendance will be “optional based on the comfort of each chief of mission” and that the event will be “broken into two separate receptions to minimize the number of guests in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at one time.”
“Another holiday party, hosted by the department’s chief of protocol Cam Henderson, involves a tour of the White House followed by a tour of Blair House, the president’s guesthouse, which is managed by the State Department,” the Post’s reporting continued.
All this comes only months after NBC News ran a report over the summer talking about Pompeo’s habit of hosting dinners and parties.
“An NBC News investigation found that Pompeo held about two dozen Madison Dinners since he took over in 2018. … The dinners are named after James Madison, America’s fourth president and fifth secretary of state, who made a habit of inviting foreign diplomats to exchange ideas over dinner,” the equally left-wing outlet reported.
It appears that Pompeo is quite the party animal, for better or worse. So is President Donald Trump, it would appear.
“The White House kicked off its holiday party season on Monday, marking the start of more than a dozen festive group gatherings, even as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the country,” CNN, an even more far-left network complained on Tuesday.
During a briefing the following day, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back on these complaints from the media.
“So if you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protest, you can also go to a Christmas party. You can celebrate the holiday of Christmas, and you can do it responsibly,” she said.
McEnany added that this “is why the East Wing has noted that they’ll have smaller guest lists, masks are going to be available, social distancing is going to be encouraged, as well as 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 said.
.@PressSec: “If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protest, you can also go to a Christmas party…
…We will engage in the celebration of Christmas & there will be a Hanukkah celebration as well.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 3, 2020
The remark was in reference to the way the media — including CNN — had reflexively sought to defend so-called “peaceful protests” during the summer despite those “protests” being clear-cut super-spreaders — not to mention extraordinarily violent.
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