2020-12-31 01:10:57 UTC
...as coronavirus cases surge in Florida
*Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump's Florida residence, will host its annual
New Year's Eve gala
*Tickets are going for $1,000 each, one person attending told DailyMail.com
*It's unclear what kind of COVID restrictions will be in effect
*Palm Beach County has a mask mandate for public spaces
President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago will host its black-tie New Year's Eve gala,
welcoming hundreds of guests to its ballroom as coronavirus cases are on the
rise in Florida.
Tickets for the event are going for $1,000 each, one person attending the gala
told DailyMail.com. A person has to be a member of Mar-a-Lago or a guest of a
member in order to attend.
It's unclear how ringing in the year 2021 will play out inside the walls of
Trump's Winter White House. December has been the deadliest month of the COVID
pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising people
to celebrate within their households.
Palm Beach County has a mask mandate for public spaces - several hotels,
restaurants and shops around coastal community have signs reminding people to
wear face coverings.
In Palm Beach, where the sun is shining and the weather averages 70 degrees,
people still go to the beach, dine and shop. There have been some changes. There
was a line outside the Chanel store on posh Worth Avenue this weekend as the
shop limited the number of customers inside.
At an outdoor street fair on Saturday in West Palm Beach, protesters shouted
reminders that officials cannot force people to wear masks. Restaurants and bars
were packed with people - few wearing face coverings.
The coronavirus has infected more than 19.6 million Americans and killed more
than 339,000 people. The death rate is averaging more than 3,000 people per day.
It's unclear how many people will attend this year's New Year's Eve gathering
with the president. At least 500 people have reserved tickets so far, CNN
reported. Hundreds of people typically attend. The main ballroom can hold 700
people and there are smaller ballrooms available to add to the crowd size.
Trump himself has not been very visible during the seven days he's been in
He's gone to his golf course on six of them and glimpses have been seen of him
in the motorcade, waving to supporters that line the street. He's also been
captured by photographers playing a round and driving his golf court.
But he and Melania Trump didn't go to Christmas Eve church service as they have
done in the past. Additionally, the president signed a legislative package
funding the government and offering COVID relief behind the walls of Mar-a-Lago
He didn't invite the media in to view that or to watch his call with the troops
on Christmas Eve.
He's been most visible online, sending tweet after tweet about the election and
demanding Congress increase the amount of stimulus checks to Americans from $600
to $2,000 - despite sitting on the sidelines while such negotiations were taking
He's spending the holiday season in Mar-a-Lago, which is a sanctuary for the
president, where he can dine with club members who pump him up. He's kept to his
usual routine of morning golf games and Sunday evening dinner at his golf club.
His daily public schedule includes the reminder he is in calls and meetings as
he works for the American people.
It's unclear what kind of COVID restrictions the New Year's Eve gala will have.
Turning Point USA, a group of conservative students that supports the president,
held a gala at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month that featured a packed ballroom and
not a face mask in sight, according to the many photos of the event posted on
The party comes as Florida officials, on Tuesday, announced the highest
positivity rate the state has ever seen: 26.29 per cent.
The New Year's Eve gala is an annual tradition that pre-dates Trump's time in
the White House.
Typically the president's family attends. Last year, Trump walked the red carpet
with his wife Melania and their son Barron.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner also attended with their children. Donald Trump
Jr. was accompanied by one of his sons and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. Eric
Trump and Lara Trump were also there as were Tiffany Trump and her boyfriend
Prominent Trump friends like Rudy Giuliani also made an appearance.
But the president also has missed the event, such as he did at the opening of
2019 because he was stuck in Washington thanks to the government shutdown.