President Donald Trump is changing his plans for the election night party. Rather than hold it at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Trump will host a party in the East Room of the White House, the New York Times and Reuters reported. Around 400 people are expected to attend the party that will be held inside the largest room in the White House.
Trump had already said he was likely going to change initial plans to hold the party at the Trump Hotel because of the rules in place to stem the spread of COVID-19. Washington, D.C. prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 50 people. “So we have a hotel. I don’t know if it’s shut down, if you’re allowed to use it or not,” Trump said Friday. “But I know the mayor has shut down Washington, D.C. And if that’s the case, we’ll probably stay here or pick another location. I think it’s crazy. Washington, D.C., is shut down. Can you imagine?”
Now that it seems the party will include some 400 people there will no doubt be questions about the safety of the event. All those who will attend the party will be tested for the coronavirus, according to the official who talked to Reuters.
The election night party will take place a little more than a month after the Sept. 26 event at the White House to celebrate the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which Dr. Anthony Fauci later characterized as a “superspreader event.” Several people who attended that event later tested positive for COVID-19.
News of the election night party comes shortly after Fauci harshly criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus and warned of tough times ahead in the fight against the virus as new cases keep soaring. “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” Fauci said in a Washington Post interview published Saturday night. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.” In the interview, Fauci said Biden was “taking it seriously from a public health perspective” while Trump is more focused on “the economy and reopening the country.” The White House harshly criticized Fauci for the interview saying it was “breaking with all norms” for him to “choose three days before an election to play politics.”
Trump will hold his party indoors at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Washington, D.C. is growing. The number of daily cases over the past week have increased 35 percent from two weeks earlier, according to the New York Times.
Joe Biden plans to spend election night in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.