Congress Is Throwing A Dinner Party During A Pandemic And People On Social Media Lost It

While coronavirus cases are soaring across the United States and exponential, uncontrollable spread of the virus is feared for a third major wave in 2020, having a dinner party under any circumstances seems like a pretty questionable idea. Which is why the idea of the US Congress throwing one for new members in an enclosed dining space drew outrage on social media.

NBC News reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell shared a photo of the gathering on Friday, which was quickly quote tweeted into oblivion by people who were furious not at her, but at the nation’s leaders who apparently feel hosting a large indoor dinner while a pandemic rages out of control is a good idea.

Though Pelosi was quoted as saying the event was “very spaced” and ventilation was improved for the event, any large gathering indoors is a bad idea with uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 infiltrating basically every aspect of American society. College football is on the verge of collapse, college basketball is struggling as well and Americans are being asked to pare down Thanksgiving gatherings and avoiding travel in several states as new restrictions on public life are coming back across the country.

Couple that with the advanced age of many people in congress — putting them squarely in the population particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 — and it was safe to say that the image did not go over very well on social media. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was particularly unhappy.

Dan Rather wasn’t happy about it, either.

Billy Eichner called it “terrible” and “embarrassing” for everyone involved.

Chelsea Clinton pled with government officials to cancel the event.

There were a lot of good points made about the message it sends about the elite in America and what normal human beings living through the worst health crisis in decades may take from the symbolism here.

There are, quite literally, thousands and thousands more reactions to this image. Many are disbelief, shock, anger, or a combination of those emotions. Hopefully the event goes off safely and no one gets the wrong idea from hosting a gathering like this, but in a year where Americans have longed for proper guidance and aid from their government in a time of crisis without recent compare, this wasn’t a move that helped or made anyone feel better about anything at all.