House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has cancelled an in-person dinner honoring new Democratic members of Congress scheduled for Friday night. Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of staff, wrote on Twitter, “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...There is no group dinner.” Members-elect will now receive boxed meals. A photo of the room in the Capitol building where the dinner would have been held went viral Friday, with Pelosi telling NBC, “It’s very spaced.” The House leader said that extra ventilation was in place, though the windows in the room where the dinner would have been held do not open. Public health experts advise against indoor group gatherings due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission and have told Americans to cancel winter holiday plans to stay safe. The Republican Party planned a separate dinner, and it’s unclear whether the event is still taking place.
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