Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club is set to host a 500-person event celebrating motorsports on Sunday, in spite of reports that recent coronavirus infections among staff members had caused a partial shutdown of the club, the Daily Beast reported on Saturday.
The Associated Press previously reported the partial shutdown of the ex-president’s club in Palm Beach, Florida, after sources — including a person familiar with club operations — confirmed that Mar-a-Lago had “partially closed” a section of the club and quarantined some of its workers on Friday “out of an abundance of caution.”
Palm Beach realtor Valentina Aved, who helped organize the Sunday event which is expected to feature food, wine, fashion and vintage cars, told the Daily Beast that the fundraiser would involve “everybody playing by the pool.”
She reportedly also told the Daily Beast, that no one seemed to be concerned about the recent outbreak, and that the event, which will be held outdoors, was sold out.
“It will be a very exciting event. The most beautiful cars, people, good friends,” Aved told the Daily Beast.
According to the event website, attendance at the gathering requires a $395 entrance fee.
“We truly hope you enjoy your day with us, enjoy the great food and fine wine we have for you; enjoy the fabulous fashion around the Mar-a-Lago pool,” a copy of the program for the event reads.
The program adds: “And during the day, please give generously to our favorite cause, The Place of Hope, that’s dedicated to providing a safe stable and loving environment for local children and families in need.”
In an email to members, obtained by the Associated Press, the club assured that “all appropriate response measures” had been taken, including sanitizing affected areas after some of its staff tested positive for coronavirus. Service had been temporarily suspended in the club’s dining room and at its beach club, the paper noted, according to a copy of the email.
“The health and safety of our members and staff is our highest priority,” it read.
Trump ensconced himself at Mar-a-Lago after leaving Washington in January, and has spent the aftermath of his presidency, meeting with Republican party leaders on his Florida turf as he prepares to endorse challengers to a host of his critics, who voted in favor of his second impeachment or otherwise crossed him.
Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 last fall and later quietly received the vaccine against COVID-19 before leaving office in January.
During the final year of his presidency, Trump spent months downplaying the seriousness of the virus and often flouting and politicizing safety measures put in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The White House also suffered a cluster of infections after holding events and often ignoring mask guidelines to combat the spread of the virus.
Trump’s club in Palm Beach has hosted a series of well-attended events and fundraisers in recent weeks, including “Big Dog Ranch Rescue,” chaired by the former president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, which he also attended.
Photos from those events appeared to show few attendees wearing masks. Two people familiar with the club told the Washington Post that Mar-a-Lago servers had worn masks during the events.
In January, Florida state Rep. Omari Hardy (D) had asked for Mar-a-Lago to be closed down, and Palm Beach County issued a warning to Mar-a-Lago’s management after a New Year’s Eve party at the club flouted a mask requirement.
“The workers don’t deserve this,” Hardy tweeted, after learning of the COVID-19 outbreak at Mar-a-Lago and its partial shutdown.
“No one around the president wears a mask. The guests at Mar-a-Lago have photographed themselves partying and carousing not wearing masks,” he separately told the Post. “Now the workers, who can least afford to get sick, are paying for it with their health.”