House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has canceled the face-to-face dinner with new members of Congress because of widespread backlash on Twitter. It is a tradition that every speaker follows.
A member of NBC News tweeted a picture of the dinner set up showing tables and chairs arranged in the room. She captioned the photo, stating that the Democratic and Republican leaders are holding dinners for the recruits.
She also continued to add that Nancy Pelosi had explained that the arrangement allows for a lot of space for social distancing and there is also more ventilation. The Capitol physician has also approved of their plan.
This dinner, however, became a subject to a lot of criticism because spending Thanksgiving together had been ruled against the law for the American people, but the political parties are blatantly going against their own rules, which will make people even more distrustful towards COVID-19 mandates. This issue was brought to light by a reporter from the Washington Examiner.
Chelsea Clinton also commented on the matter, urging Nancy Pelosi to cancel the dinner to ensure everyone’s safety who was involved in the dinner that included the new members, the servers, the police, and everyone’s families. She also added that they needed to show leadership and set an example for the rest of the country.
Several other people on Twitter chimed in. Billy Eichner, a comedian commented that this was extremely embarrassing for everyone involved. A Vox journalist told that he was shocked that they were going ahead with an indoor social gathering amidst the pandemic.
A radio host mocked them, saying that the coronavirus rules and mandates were only for ‘little people’. A reporter from the Huffington Post also wondered if this stupid decision could be undone by Twitter criticism.
Initially the deputy chief of staff, Drew Hamill tweeted to reassure people that for this dinner, they are strictly following the SOPs provided by the Office of Attending Physician. He continued that the new elected members will be picking up their meals while being socially distanced.
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
However, an hour later, he tweeted again to announce that the dinner has been canceled and the members will now just be picking up their meals and leaving the Capitol.
Many Republicans are already known to dismiss the pandemic related SOPs by never observing mask-wearing or social distancing, however, the Democrats have been on the frontlines for COVID-19 mandates to be followed very strictly.