Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his spouse have despatched out round 900 invites for one in every of a number of indoor vacation events on the State Division, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic and bleak warnings from public well being officers to keep away from giant gatherings, according to a report in The Washington Put up.
The occasion, referred to as “Diplomacy at Dwelling for the Holidays,” is about to happen on Dec. 15 on the eighth flooring of the State Division constructing in Washington, D.C. The Put up reported that occasion planners had been instructed to ignore official well being steering regardless of Pompeo’s personal company recommending workers change all “non-mission crucial occasions” to “digital” conferences relatively than in-person gatherings.
The State Division launched a press release late Wednesday amid the report, saying: “We plan to totally implement social distancing measures at this reception, and face coverings are obligatory for admittance.”
“We’ve taken each precaution to skinny out the variety of people in all areas at one time, and plan to maintain outdoor area open and out there to attendees, climate allowing,” the spokesperson added in a remark to The Hill.
The U.S. is within the midst of the worst section of the pandemic to this point. Greater than 100,000 people were hospitalized with the virus and 200,000 others examined constructive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, each file highs, and the nation was on observe to have its highest one-day dying toll on Wednesday as effectively.
Greater than 270,000 folks nationwide have died of COVID-19 to this point, and the top of the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated that determine might nearly double by early subsequent yr if traits proceed.
“I do assume, sadly, earlier than we see February, we might be near 450,000 Individuals who’ve died from this virus,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, stated this week.
Massive occasions in Washington have already been linked to mass outbreaks of the coronavirus which have unfold by the Trump administration, the halls of Congress and past. President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus after a big gathering celebrating the nomination of now-Supreme Court docket Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26. Few folks had been seen sporting masks or socially distancing on the occasion.
Pompeo has a predilection for lavish occasions. Earlier this yr, he got here underneath scrutiny for internet hosting about two dozen taxpayer-funded events on the State Division throughout his tenure that featured highly effective Republican lawmakers and conservative Fox Information hosts.
The occasions had been dubbed the “Madison Dinners” and hosted by Pompeo and his spouse, Susan, in historic diplomatic reception rooms, in response to an investigation by NBC Information.
Trump and first girl Melania Trump plan to host at least 20 holiday parties this season on the White Home.
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