House Speaker Nancy Pelosi found herself embroiled in another situation that had unsavory optics once again on Sunday. The California Democrat was seen schmoozing with Democratic deep-pocket donors, all of which were not wearing masks, at a Napa Valley fundraiser while Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was also trounced with criticism for dancing up a storm this weekend.
New York Times journalist Kenneth Vogel posted an invitation for the Sunday morning fundraiser event, which shows that tickets started at $100 and were as much as $29,000 to chair. The money raised went to vulnerable frontline Democrats who are in danger of losing their seats in the 2022 midterm elections.
Vogel posted video from the fundraiser in Napa Valley, which showed no social distancing and no mask-wearing except for the wait staff.
The event was held in California's Napa County, where COVID-19 cases from Aug. 13 through Aug. 19 are up 71% from the previous week, according to the Napa Valley Register. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designate Napa County as a "high level of community transmission." The event was held outdoors and face masks are not required outdoors, but the CDC recommends people "consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated" in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Social media commenters lampooned Pelosi for the maskless event.
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: "Speaker Pelosi wants to lock you down again while she wines and dines with her political donors. It's utter hypocrisy."
- Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald: "All the servants fully masked. The almost-entirely old, white, rich crowd of DCCC donors free to go maskless as they're served."
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.): "SpeakerPelosi does not care about #COVID. Democrats don't care about covid. They only care about controlling you. Magical covid science: The virus stops spreading the minute you sit down to eat or when you speak in a microphone or if you are one of the elites. Liars."
- Progressive political commentator Jimmy Dore: "Isn't this what they used to call a "Super-Spreader Event"? They don't seem worried at all. What do the rich elite know that we don't?"
- Attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon: "SUPERSPREADER EVENT!"
- "Relatable" podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey: "They're not scared of COVID, in case you hadn't noticed."
- Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell: "The white people are all free to breath without a mask. The people of color must wear masks - and serve. Stop voting for Democrats…they are laughing at how easy you are to manipulate."
- Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth: "Good to see the nation's malefactors having a wonderful time as the torture and slaughter--for which they bear distinct responsibility!--continue in Afghanistan."
- Newsmax host Steve Cortes: "Worst part of this video is that workers have to mask up, but not the swanky Dem donors. Two sets of rules."
- Conservative pundit Ned Ryun: "Not seeing those masks there. . . Almost feels like they feel the rules are more a series of suggestions that only the peasants should follow."
This is the latest case of Pelosi being caught in a situation that has damaging optics. Last month, Pelosi was seen not wearing a mask on two occasions at the U.S. Capitol building a day after the Capitol Police declared that face masks must be worn "at all times" on the House side of the complex. Last September, Pelosi violated San Francisco's health orders when she was caught on video inside a California salon without wearing a face covering.
Schumer also received backlash for his questionable behavior this weekend. With as many as 10,000 Americans still trapped in Afghanistan following Biden's disastrous withdrawal, Schumer was seen dancing without a care in the world on Saturday.
During the "We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert" in Central Park, the Schumer was caught on video dancing closely with late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert, who was maskless.