White House press secretary and Donald Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany offered an, uh, interesting defense for the administration’s decision to continue holding holiday parties despite coronavirus cases surging across the nation. During a Wednesday press conference, McEnany fired back at questions about whether it was responsible for the White House to engage in holiday celebrations as medical experts have been repeatedly warning against large gatherings going back before Thanksgiving.
“If you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protests, you can also go to a Christmas party. You can celebrate the holiday of Christmas,” McEnany said in a clear rebuke of the Black Lives Matter protests during the Spring. However, she quickly pivoted to a more sensible defense of the holiday parties. Via CNN:
“You can do it responsibly, which is why the East Wing has noted that a lot smaller guest list, masks are going to be available, social distancing is going to be encouraged, hand sanitizing stations, among other measures. But we will engage in the celebration of Christmas and there will be a Hanukkah celebration as well.”
You can watch McEnany’s remarks below:
Some pretty ambitious holiday plans for the White House https://t.co/HxZOz0deaZ
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) December 2, 2020
As CNN notes in an earlier report, the White House is still flouting CDC guidelines despite McEnany’s list of precautions. Current size restrictions is capped at 10 people for Washington, D.C., and yet, First Lady Melania Trump recently held a “thank you” party for several dozen volunteers who helped with this year’s Christmas display. According to social media photos, guests did not follow social distancing guidelines and were close together in the White House foyer.
But even before the winter coronavirus surge, the White House was the site of at least two outbreaks, the first being the Rose Garden event celebrating Amy Coney Barret’s Supreme Court nomination, which allegedly infected President Trump, and the second when Vice President Mike Pence’s staff was infected shortly before the election.