On the same day she described the pandemic as an “emergency of the greatest magnitude,” a photo was posted of the lavish dining room being prepared in the Capitol.
The 80-year-old speaker told an NBC reporter he was sure there was advanced ventilation for the meal and that a Capitol doctor had approved it.
But the planned dinner angered prominent Democrats, who were keen to distinguish themselves from Republicans by the seriousness with which they take the Covid threat.
They were led by Chelsea Clinton, who tweeted: “Please cancel these dinners in person, @SpeakerPelosi & @kevinomccarthy to protect everyone from # covid19 – yourself, your new members, your servers, the Capitol Police and all. their families and contacts. And show leadership in public health. “
Chris Hayes, MSNBC presenter, added, “Cancel your precious dinner, fools. my God. “
At first, Ms. Pelosi’s office upheld the decision, stating, “Our office is strictly following the Attending Physician’s Office guidelines, including for this dinner. To be another model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow elected members to have their meals to go socially distanced.
But 90 minutes later, his deputy chief of staff tweeted: “The elected members are now eating their boxed meals and leaving the Capitol. There is no group dinner. The elected members are already in Washington for orientation. “