Pelosi’s planned indoor dinner for incoming lawmakers sparks backlash amid COVID restrictions

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been among her party’s more hawkish proponents of coronavirus-related restrictions.

As a recent Fox News report further indicates, however, she is not quite so eager to follow those very same rules.

“This event has been modified”

According to an update on Friday, the speaker’s office had announced plans to host a dinner for incoming Democratic lawmakers despite ongoing efforts on Capitol Hill to limit the potential spread of the pandemic virus.

When confronted with the eyebrow-raising development, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff attempted to explain that the event had been organized with safety in mind.

“Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner,” Drew Hammill said. “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.”

That explanation did not prevent critics from sounding off on the apparent evidence of Pelosi’s hypocrisy.

“Imagine telling family not to hold Thanksgiving (we shouldn’t) and then doing this,” tweeted New York magazine columnist Nikole Hannah-Jones. “Come on.”

“Doesn’t think the rules apply to them”

Vox reporter Aaron Rupar added to the opprobrium with his own tweet: “This should be canceled and frankly I’m shocked anybody thought having an indoor social meal right now was a good idea to being with.”

In expressing his disapproval, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes disparaged Democrats behind the event as “maniacs” and insisted that they call off their “precious dinner.” Of course, plenty of critics from across the political spectrum also weighed in.

Jerry Dunleavy, a writer for the Washington Examiner, tweeted that the planned event “is happening while Americans are told it will be against the law for them to have Thanksgiving with their families,” denouncing the dinner as evidence that “the political class is openly & publicly showing it doesn’t think the rules apply to them, thus helping destroy the trust needed to beat this virus.”

As the Daily Beast reported, the backlash led to Pelosi’s decision to cancel the dinner altogether.

This was not her first apparent attempt to flout the very rules she seeks to apply to others. In September, she was seen on leaked surveillance footage without a mask as she visited a hair salon in violation of local ordinances.

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