Pelosi Scraps Lavish Party After Covid Backlash

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that its in-person dinner hosting with new Democratic members of Congress has been canceled after a viral tweet showing the tables being set up for the event sparked backlash amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pelosi deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill initially doubled down on how “safe” the event was supposed to be, tweeting, “Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner. 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.”

However, Hammill later followed, “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.”

The controversy began when NBC News correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell reported on Friday that Democratic and Republican leaders in the House are holding dinners for new members. She shared an image of several tables being set up in the Capitol. 

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