House Democrats canceled an in-person dinner for newly elected members of their caucus Friday evening after coming under fire over what many Americans saw a blatant instance of coronavirus-related hypocrisy.
“Members-elect are now picking up their boxed meals and departing the Capitol,” tweeted Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There is no group dinner. Members-elect are in DC already for orientation.”
Members-elect are now picking up their boxed meals and departing the Capitol. There is no group dinner. Members-elect are in DC already for orientation. https://t.co/g5XNnA3ky0
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 14, 2020
Earlier in the day, NBC News correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell had tweeted that “House Dem and GOP leaders are holding respective dinners for new members.”
“It’s very spaced,” Pelosi told Caldwell, additionally citing the room’s ventilation and the fact that the Capitol physician had signed off on the dinner.
House Dem and GOP leaders are holding respective dinners for new members.
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) November 13, 2020
This still rubbed plenty of people the wrong way. After all, as USA Today reported, many Americans around the country have been forced to cancel their Thanksgiving plans in response to concerns over the coronavirus and restrictions imposed by state and local governments.
In New York state, for instance, indoor gatherings at private residences have been limited to 10 people.
“As it relates to your private setting, we just have to plead with people to not let your guard down, to keep your gatherings as small as possible and to keep fighting this,” New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday on NBC’s “Today.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, say that “the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household.”
The CDC encourages Americans to “consider other Thanksgiving activities,” like “host[ing] a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you.”
Prior to House Democrats canceling their group dinner, many on social media pointed out what they saw as hypocrisy.
we shouldn’t see our families for thanksgiving but this is ok because nancy pelosi said so https://t.co/2JZms4r9yx
— josh terry (@JoshhTerry) November 13, 2020
Pelosi can hold a dinner party but everyone needs to cancel thanksgiving. “Rules for thee, but not for me” https://t.co/5M2AFMs5ZC
— Summer Eisenmenger (@summer_lynn7) November 14, 2020
cuomo and de blasio both basically said dont go see family for the holidays because it’s too risky. it’s amazing to see the kind of sacrifices normal people are expected to make while leaders create a different set of standards for themselves. https://t.co/g98nOCTWk4
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) November 13, 2020
But don’t you DARE have Thanksgiving with your family! https://t.co/ugphQTQPkB
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) November 13, 2020
No Thanksgiving for you though https://t.co/DKpxo1j9X5
— Christopher Bedford (@CBedfordDC) November 13, 2020
But Pelosi, other elected Democrats, and the mainstream news media are lecturing us that we can’t have Thanksgiving with even our immediate families and we have to spend it sad, alone, and mentally crippled. https://t.co/ls2UWjepb1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 13, 2020
Before the in-person event was canceled, Hammill responded to the outrage by tweeting that “Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner. To be a further model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner.”
Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner. To be a further model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner. https://t.co/s2pSyUOCbm
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 13, 2020
It wasn’t immediately clear if House Republicans ended up holding an in-person dinner Friday.
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