Invitations to White House holiday parties have begun arriving on Capitol Hill and to Republican donors, said two people who have received them. The sources said the invitations looked like any other year without any mention of coronavirus precautions. And last week, First Lady Melania Trump completed guest lists for parties with friends, family and staff, which will be held several evenings in mid-December.
The parties are yet another example of those in the White House who are avoiding the best practices of the administration, which has led to several outbreaks over the last few months and are worried that it may happen again.
First Lady Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham said Monday that there will be security measures, including minor guest lists and mask requirements, at the indoor events.
She added: “Guests will enjoy food individually cooked by chefs at Plexiglass-protected food stations. All passing beverages will be covered. All service personnel will wear masks and gloves to comply with food safety guidelines.”
But, Grisham said, it will be up to the invitees to decide if they want to attend.
“Attending the parties will be a very personal choice. It is a tradition for people who keep visiting and enjoying the jubilation and the iconic decor of the annual Christmas parties at the White House,” she said.
A well-known source told CNN that there will be no individual photos with Trump and the first lady, as it has been this year in the past, due to the coronavirus precautions. There will be more than one American secret service party to accommodate the number of guests, as is traditionally the procedure. The parties are expected to take place the first week of December.
Adams, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, refused to condemn the parties and instead spoke more broadly about large gatherings.
“I want the American people to know that we are at a serious point in our fight against this virus in every way: cases, positivity, hospitalizations, deaths. We are seeing more Americans negatively affected than ever before,” he said. he and continued on to show positive news in vaccine development.
He continued, “I beg the Americans – and beg you – just stay a little longer. Keep Thanksgiving and the celebration small and smart this year.”
Pressed again on whether he was concerned that White House vacation homes could become super-spreader events, Adams said, “Well, we want everyone to understand that these holiday parties can be super-spreader events,” so we want them to be smart and we want them to be as small as possible.But again, go to cdc.gov.Look at these tips for everyone.These apply to the White House, they apply to it “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 in the White House after Thanksgiving, decorating the halls and putting the finishing touches on the extensive holiday decor that is to take place across several public spaces and spaces.
As she has been doing for the past three years, Melania Trump began planning her “design theme” in the late summer for the holidays. This year, however, the number of volunteers selected to adorn the White House was dramatically scaled down due to the Covid-19 guidelines, which will also be the travel groups that come to see it.
When volunteers arrive to begin the work of installing ornaments, wall decor, candles and wreaths, they will wear masks and remain socially distant according to the rules of the White House described in the volunteer application form. Touring guests will also be required to wear face clothing and be socially distant.
CORRECTION: The headline of this story has been corrected to indicate that Adams was referring to large holiday collections.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.