WASHINGTON — President Trump’s campaign is gearing up for an unforgettable election night celebration right here in the District, but the potential crowds have some concerned, given D.C.'s current COVID-19 restrictions.
Fundraising emails sent by the Trump campaign in the president’s name are offering donors the chance to enter a drawing “to join Team Trump at the Election Night Party.” The email goes on to say that the party will be held in the president’s favorite hotel in Washington.
On Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters she would be reaching out to the Trump Hotel about a potential election night campaign party being held at their property.
"I heard about something this morning and we will be in touch with our licensee, which is the hotel," Bowser said.
According to ABRA, the District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, the Trump International Hotel in D.C. holds a number of licenses with the District, including multiple alcohol licenses and a catering license.
A spokesperson for ABRA said they have not reached out to the Trump Hotel because no violations regarding this party have occurred. But in a statement to WUSA9, they describe standards any potential gathering would need to follow under the District’s Phase II guidelines. It reads:
During Phase Two, an alcohol licensed caterer can serve seated patrons food and beverage indoors. The host venue would need to restrict capacity to 50 percent of the seated guest count allowed on their DCRA-issued Certificate of Occupancy and adhere to all other Phase Two guidelines including no live entertainment or activities that require patrons to be in close proximity to one another such as dancing.
This isn’t the first time that the Trump administration or its campaign has raised concerns regarding following the District’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. For Independence day celebrations, the president hosted hundreds of people on the White House grounds. He did it again in August, for his Republican National Convention speech. And again at last month’s Rose Garden announcement of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That event led to more than 30 people contracting COVID-19.
The event triggered all kinds of criticism including from Infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask," Fauci told 60 minutes. "When I saw that on TV, I said, "Oh my goodness nothing good can come outta that, that's gotta be a problem."
After the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme court, the White House hosted a celebration that looked very different than the nomination ceremony in the rose garden. People were wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and in many cases socially distancing.
Mayor Bowser's office has not confirmed whether or not they have or will discourage the Trump Hotel from holding an election night party for the President.
A spokesperson from ABRA said their investigators respond 24/7. If members of the public see a violation of Phase II guidelines they are encouraged to submit complaints by phone, email, or online.