Donald Trump is hosting a black-tie New Year’s Eve gala at his Florida golf resort, Mar-a-Lago, with tickets prices set at $1,000 each.
Guests who wish to attend must be members of Mar-a-Lago.
Palm Beach County has a mask mandate in place, but other events recently held at Mar-a-Lago, like the TurningPoint USA gala, have been attended by largely maskless attendees. It is likely Mr Trump’s event will have similarly lax enforcement of the mandate.
The gala comes as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the wake of a busy holiday season.
Health authorities like the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have called for Americans to celebrate the holidays in their homes and to avoid mass gatherings to prevent further spread of the virus.
Mr Trump’s New Year’s Eve parties have been a tradition for him predating his presidential term.
The president’s family usually attends the events. In the past, prominent figures in Trump world, like his lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have also made appearances.
More than 19.6m Americans have already been infected by the coronavirus, and nearly 340,000 have died as a result.
The party comes at a time when Florida is reporting its highest rate of infection since the start of the pandemic, 26.29 per cent.
CNN reported that nearly 500 people have already reserved tickets for the president’s New Year’s bash.
Mr Trump left for his annual pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago last week. Despite his relative absence on the public stage since his election loss to Joe Biden, the president has been seen golfing in Florida, and has continued tweeting his conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
The president faced mockery early in his visit when a White House statement suggested he was working tirelessly for the American people from Mar-a-Lago. He was caught later that day playing golf.
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