A republican group in Queens, New York hosted an indoor, maskless holiday party and videos have surfaced
The Whitestone Republican Club, based out of Queens, New York held an indoor, maskless party at a restaurant in the city earlier this month and video of the group doing a maskless conga-line has surfaced to the web.
The Washington Post reports that the holiday party hosted at least 50 guests indoors, despite statewide rules banning gatherings larger than 10 people. But as we’ve come to learn all year, people continue to host these superspreader events as they interpret these “rules” as mere suggestions.
The restaurant was was held at Il Bacco, an Italian restaurant in Queens, New York, which — fun fact — sued the state of New York over the summer for not letting them have indoor dining. The party took place on December 9, 2020, several days before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down indoor dining in New York again.
the Whitestone Republican Club in NYC apparently held a Christmas party this year without a care in the world about COVID pic.twitter.com/mHzW86d9M7
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) December 21, 2020
Vickie Paladino, a GOP candidate for New York City Council in Queens’ District 19, was spotted amongst the partiers, a divisive figure The Washington Post says has been accused of cozying up to Neo-Nazis. She posted about the party, saying the attendees at the event were free to do what they want because they’re not the “mask police.”
After the video of the holiday party went viral, the Whitestone Republican Club posted a statement on Facebook that everyone in attendance was “told” to wear a mask but that they felt it “it was important coming out of such a highly emotional election that we hold some kind of gathering to bring in the holidays.” And although 50 people were spotted doing the conga indoors without masks on, the owner of the restaurant said, “That party was absolutely not in violation” of the state’s COVID mandates and uhhh okay?
The Whitestone Republican Club even shared a video from the party on Facebook and nobody can be seen wearing a mask as an opera singer (also maskless) performs inches from the crowd.
In a conference call with reporters on December 22, 2020 (via Syracuse News), Cuomo simply shook his head at the event saying “Covid conga lines are not smart” which roughly translates to “I dunno man, I’m giving up.”
.@NYGovCuomo responds: “I saw the video. Covid conga lines are not smart. That is my official position. Why you would do an unmasked Covid conga line in the middle of a pandemic defies logical explanation.” https://t.co/Iv3Dkap7Vj
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) December 22, 2020
Mayor de Blasio told NY1 that “anyone who violates the state rules, we are going to deal with. We have been giving out really serious fines to people who organize events or host events, so I am certain the sheriff and other city agencies are going to follow up.”
As of yet, it is not clear if any fines have been levied at the GOP group or the restaurant in question.