A fancy Washington, D.C., party for some of America’s A-listers turned into a COVID-19 outbreak last weekend.
The 137th annual Gridiron dinner was held Saturday in the nation’s capital, and multiple members of Congress and federal officials that attended have since announced positive tests for the coronavirus. Also in attendance at the posh dinner were White House medical advisor and NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Among those in attendance were Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and Centers for Disease Control director Rochelle Walensky.” https://t.co/ZnTmRqXOcF
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) April 6, 2022
Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff of California and Joaquin Castro of Texas announced they had COVID-19 after attending the dinner, as did Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, according to The Washington Post. Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland, another attendee, announced he tested positive too.
AG Merrick Garland, who sat at the head table at the Gridiron dinner a few seats down from Gina Raimondo, has tested positive for COVID. From DoJ: He tested positive this afternoon. “He asked to be tested after learning that he may have been exposed to the virus.” No symptoms
— Emily Goodin (@Emilylgoodin) April 6, 2022
A handful of other attendees, including journalists, White House staffers and National Security Council staffers also tested positive afterward, according to the Post. President Joe Biden did not attend the event, instead addressing it by video.
Proof of vaccination was required to attend the event, according to Tom DeFrank, a contributing editor at National Journal and the president of the Gridiron Club. (RELATED: The Countries That Locked Down The Hardest Are Now Being Decimated By COVID-19)
Among the other 630 attendees were former Democratic presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams, White House climate czar John Kerry, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan.