Pelosi Defends Holding Large Dinner for Incoming Members as Dems Move to Cancel Thanksgiving

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) adjusts her hair as she speaks during a Day
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended holding a large dinner for incoming members as Democrat leaders across the country urge Americans to cancel their traditional Thanksgiving plans to combat the Chinese coronavirus.

“House Dem and GOP leaders are holding respective dinners for new members,” NBC News correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell reported, providing a photo of several tables.

Pelosi reportedly defended the dinner, citing the “enhanced ventilation” of the room and touting the approval of the Capitol physician.

“It’s very spaced,” Pelosi added:

The news aroused confusion and questions from critics, many of whom wondered how Democrats — who tend to be in favor of restrictions — could justify holding such an event, as some of their leaders across the country urge Americans to cancel their Thanksgiving plans.

“If the Capitol Hill physician signed off on this, he is dangerously misinformed. How is this modeling good behavior in the lead up to Thanksgiving. @SpeakerPelosi change your mind on this right now,” one user wrote. “It is beyond reckless.”

“But seriously, terrible. And sets an awful example when you’re asking families not to get together for Thanksgiving. Find another creative way to welcome new folks, just as all companies are having to do with new employees,” another said. “I can’t fathom who approved this asinine idea.”

“The rest of us are going to have sad little Thanksgivings without our families, but you do you, I guess,” another added:

The dinner comes as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) warned residents to continue to be”vigilant about COVID.”

“Wear your mask, limit your trips. Don’t try to do everything all in the same day, from shopping, to dining, to getting your hair done,” Bowser said on Thursday.

“Be mindful of small gatherings,” she added. “People who are in their home or in the home of a family member, around people that they know — they are letting their guards down.”

D.C.’s Phase Two Guidance prohibits “mass gatherings of more than 50 people.” Additionally, the guidance limits restaurants to 50 percent capacity “with tables placed so that patrons are at least 6 feet apart.”

On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a ten-person limit on gatherings in private residences ahead of the holidays.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), who recently announced a stay-at-home advisory, was more explicit in her plea, urging Chicagoans to “cancel transitional Thanksgiving plans”:

Days earlier, a maskless Lightfoot joined Biden-Harris supporters in the streets to celebrate following the media calling the race for Joe Biden (D):

This would not be the first time Pelosi has displayed hypocrisy in the era of the Chinese coronavirus, coming under fire in early September after receiving salon services in San Francisco as area businesses remained shuttered.


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