By Paul Shindman, World Israel News -
The White House sent out invitations Thursday for its annual Chanukah party to be held next month, even though the Centers for Disease Control is advising Americans not to gather for Thanksgiving due to soaring coronavirus infection rates across the country.
Copies of the blue-colored invitation with the elegantly scripted text were widely circulated on social media, but it is unclear how many people were invited and will show up for the event.
“The President and Mrs. Trump request the pleasure of your company at a Chanukah Reception to be held at The White House on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at three o’clock,” the invitation reads.
President Donald Trump and the First Lady both contracted the coronavirus at the end of September. They became infected shortly after an outdoor event was held on September 26 in the Rose Garden for some 150 guests where there was no socially distancing and most of participants did not wear masks. Several of the attendees tested positive in what became a “superspreader” event.
There were no reports as to whether the White House will insist on standard coronavirus safety measures for guests, even though dozens of White House workers have contracted the virus over the past few months.
On Friday, the COVID-19 data center at Johns Hopkins University reported a record 170,161 new cases in the U.S. on Thursday as the national death toll surpassed 252, 000 Americans who have succumbed to the virus.
“Average daily cases are up 43% compared to the previous 7 days, with 94% of U.S. jurisdictions seeing more cases,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main government body responsible for monitoring the pandemic tweeted.
Events are still being held at the White House even though the CDC warned Americans to stay home.
“As COVID-19 cases increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday is at home with people who live with you. Avoid gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you,” the CDC tweeted.
Chanukah, the eight-day festival commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the Jews’ defeat of their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean revolt, begins this year at sundown on Dec. 10.
Official White House Chanukah parties were started by President George W. Bush and have continued since then under Presidents Obama and Trump.