The Trump administration is very committed to two related objectives this year—doing absolutely nothing to prevent mass death and suffering, and holding terrible holiday parties against the guidance of the administration’s own health officials that will in all likelihood contribute to mass death and suffering. At these parties, guests may not only get covid-19, they may also get the gift of leftover Be Best merch, which Melania is probably desperate to get rid of before the Trumps leave the White House.
The Washington Post reports that at Tuesday’s State Department holiday party, kids were given “surplus” Be Best gear as a party favors, aka truly shitty merch that they likely threw away immediately after returning home (emphasis my own):
Amid the poinsettias, chandeliers and meticulously decorated Christmas trees, children on Tuesday night received “Be Best”-branded swag such as backpacks, Frisbees and water bottles from first lady Melania Trump’s signature anti-bullying and wellness initiative. The State Department has a stockpile of “Be Best” merchandise that is often handed out when the first lady travels abroad. In the absence of a second Trump term, officials need to find a home for the surplus gear, one U.S. official said.
“It’s time to get rid of the leftovers,” the official said.
According to the Post, which spoke with two unnamed State Department officials, their parents also may have brought home covid-19:
A State Department spokesman said the “Holiday Cheer” reception that typically follows the tour was canceled this year because of concerns about spreading the novel coronavirus, but two bars were set up in the guesthouse as the face-shield-wearing catering staff poured drinks into holiday-themed paper cups. Guests unmasked to consume the beverages, causing people to congregate and create occasional choke points, the two officials told The Washington Post. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Donald Trump, for his part, has defended the many, many White House holiday parties that will likely become covid-19 superspreader events by falsely claiming that people are masked up. Via ABC News:
At a Tuesday event touting his vaccine effort, a reporter asked,”Why are you modeling a different behavior to the American people than what your scientists tell?”
“They’re Christmas parties, and, frankly, we’ve reduced the number very substantially, as you know,” Trump responded. “I see a lot of people at the parties wearing masks, and I would say that I look out at the audience at those parties, and we have a lot of people wearing masks, and I think that’s a good thing.”
But photos show a rather different story. Here’s just one representative example featuring Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle:
And then there’s the tale of Jenna Ellis, Trump’s lawyer and Rudy Giuliani’s sidekick on the Trump campaign’s increasingly pathetic attempt to steal the election, who tested positive for covid-19 mere days after she attended a White House holiday party for senior staff, sans mask.
Be Best, indeed!