Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, has arranged hundreds of people as a guest to the State Department for holiday receptions in the upcoming weeks even though cautions from medical analysts that the United States should step aside from massive gatherings due to the adverse situation by Coronavirus epidemic, said by State Department officials close to the planning.
The sources said that the incoming events, which will contain drinks and refreshments for guests, arrive when State Department workers have been told not to conduct holiday gatherings and to enlarge teleworking from Thanksgiving until January because of the severe condition created by COVID-19.
The sources added that the invitations for one of these gatherings in mid-December touched nine-hundred guests, and the invitation for another gathering touched 180 foreign ambassadors in the United States.
Trump’s own planning of events attracted Pompeo to do the same
Officials of the State Department are conducting a holiday reception at Blair House or the State Department, which is nearby the White House, almost each day in the upcoming few weeks, two official sources close to the planning said. Moreover, the source described that President Trump’s personal conducting of the gathering is making Mike Pompeo to feel allowed to do the same.
In a statement, a spokesman of the State Department said to CNN that the gatherings will follow strict COVID-19 measures, that enforce incoming guests to cover their faces with masks and obey all social distancing measures.
Holiday parties at State will not stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Career officials are frustrated. “It is simply irresponsible,” said one State official, noting that some of the contractors who work in the kitchen don’t have health insurance. https://t.co/5UgORNQozZ
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) December 3, 2020
It is still ambiguous how social distancing measures could be followed with above a hundred guests and more in a single room.
The spokesperson described that there will be temperature checks, and people will be monitored regarding safety and health precautions before the gathering that asks that they not join if they believe they have Coronavirus or have been exposed in the previous history.
The spokesman, despite they didn’t elaborate on why beverages and food would be provided if masks are mandatory, said that they have been taken each precaution to thin out the number of individuals in all positions at one time and decide to keep the outdoor area open for guests, weather permitting.
The second official of the State Department said that what makes Mike Pompeo and Cam Henderson (Pompeo’s Chief of Protocol), believe they are above the instructions and have COVID-19 under control to hold a number of parties when there is literally an epidemic raging inside the building that they cannot fix.