Invitations to White House holiday parties have begun to reach Capitol Hill and Republican donors, two recipients said. With no mention of corona virus precautions, the sources said the calls were similar to any other year. Last week, First Lady Melania Trump finalized a guest list for banquets with friends, family and staff, which will take place on several evenings in mid-December.
The parties are another example of those in the White House who have led to several explosions over the past few months, dismissing the administration’s own best practices.
Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Chief of Staff, said there will be safety precautions including small guest lists and mask requirements at indoor events.
“People’s House will provide a safe environment when celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. This includes small guest lists, masks required and available, social exemptions being promoted while on the White House grounds, and hand washing stations across the state floor,” Grisham said in a statement.
“Guests will enjoy individually coated food by chefs at Plexiglas protected restaurants. All passing drinks will be closed. All service staff will wear masks and gloves in accordance with food safety guidelines.”
Grisham, however, said it was up to the invitees to decide whether to attend.
“Attending parties will be a very personal choice. It is a long-standing tradition for people to visit and admire the vibrant and iconic decoration of the annual White House Christmas celebrations,” he said.
A source familiar with CNN said that there will be no personal pictures with Trump and the First Lady, as there have been in previous years due to corona virus precautions. There will be more than one U.S. Secret Service holiday party to match the number of guests, which is traditionally the practice. The parties are expected to take place in the first week of December.
Adams, a member of the White House Corona virus task force, refused to condemn the parties and instead spoke in more detail about the larger meetings.
“I want the American people to know that we are at a bad stage in any fight with this virus: cases, positive, hospitalizations, deaths. We see more Americans being negatively affected than ever before,” he said.
He continued, “I ask Americans – I beg you – hold on a little longer. Thank you and keep the celebration small and brilliant this year.”
He reiterated his concern that White House holiday parties could turn into Super Spreader events, and Adams said, “Well, we want everyone to understand that these holiday celebrations could be Super Spreader events, so we want them to be as smart as we can be. .But again, go to cdc.gov. Look at those tips for everyone. These apply to the White House, they apply to the American people, they apply to everyone. We want you to be safe so we can get a vaccine. “
Traditionally, dozens of volunteers from across the country spend several days at the White House after Thanksgiving, decorating halls and providing the finishing touches to the elaborate holiday decor to be held in many public spaces and rooms.
Melania Trump, as she has done for the past three years, began planning her “design theme” in the late summer for the holidays. This year, however, the number of volunteers selected to decorate the White House has been dramatically reduced by the Govt-19 guidelines, and there will be tour groups visiting.
When volunteers arrive to begin the task of installing ornaments, wall decorations, lights and garlands, they will be socially distant by wearing masks according to the White House rules outlined in the volunteer application form. Tourist guests should wear face masks and stay away from socializing.
Correction: The title of this story has been adjusted to indicate that Adams was referring to large holiday gatherings.
This report was contributed by CNN’s Jeff Jelani.