Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the cancellation of an in-person dinner that was planned for new Democratic members of Congress on Saturday.
Pelosi initially said the event would be "very spaced." She also said there is enhanced ventilation and that the Capitol physician signed off on the event.
News of the event received backlash on social media, including from Chelsea Clinton, Nikole Hannah-Jones from the 1619 Project, Vox reporter Aaron Rupar, and MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
"Please cancel these in-person dinners, @SpeakerPelosi & @kevinomccarthy to keep everyone safe from #covid19 - yourselves, your new members, servers, the Capitol police and all of their families and contacts. And, to show public health leadership," Clinton said.
"Imagine telling families not to hold Thanksgiving (we shouldn't) and then doing this. Come. On," Hannah-Jones said.
"This should be canceled and frankly I'm shocked anybody thought having an indoor social meal right now was a good idea to begin with," Rupar said.
"cancel your precious dinner, you maniacs. my god," Hayes said.
Pelosi's Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill initially said "[t]o be a further model for the nation, the event was modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner."
Hammill announced "[t]here is no group dinner" less than two hours later.
🔦 Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to a San Francisco hair salon that had been shuttered by coronavirus lockdown orders so she could receive a private wash and blow-out in August.