Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort throws maskless New Year's bash

Florida Rep. Omari Hardy is calling on the Palm Beach municipality to shut down the Mar-a-Lago resort for flouting health restrictions set for businesses.

U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is seen after local authorities restricted the activities of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other similar businesses and asked residents to practice 'social distancing' for precaution due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in Palm B (photo credit: REUTERS)
U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is seen after local authorities restricted the activities of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other similar businesses and asked residents to practice 'social distancing' for precaution due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in Palm B
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida held a special event for maskless party-goers on New Year's Eve, who partied alongside Rudy Giuliani, Vanilla Ice, Fox News presenter Judge Jeanine Pirro, two of his sons and a couple congressmen.
Trump was originally scheduled to attend the New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort but changed course to head back to Washington at the last minute. The White House gave no reason for why he returned to Washington early, but it coincides with Trump's fight with Congress over his veto of a major defense bill and his demand for increased COVID-19 stimulus checks, as well as a spike in tensions with Iran.
Videos on social media show the 500-some party-goers, who CNN reports each paid around $1,000 for their ticket to party with the president, packed into the Mar-a-Lago's 700-person capacity ballroom, to be entertained by Vanilla Ice, Berlin and the possibility of taking a selfie with a leading conservative figure or two.

None of the guests could be seen wearing masks, or social distancing within the shared videos - defying the recommendations of Palm Beach County, Florida, health officials. At the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, a birthday party held for Donald Trump Jr.'s wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle, ended up being an event where many attendees contracted COVID-19.
The New York Times published an article highlighting the New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago and some of the attendees, at least one of whom has claimed they faced threats within the community after they ran the story.
"My fiancé & I had to leave our home this evening with our four dogs thanks to the New York Times publishing of my Instagram showing me attending the Mar-A-Lago New Year’s Eve party," said George Santos, who intends to run for New York's third district in 2022. "My fiancé a pharmacist who worked 12h/7days shifts for 9 months was fired! The violence against us is real.

Others have called out the congressmen who were pictured at the event, suggesting they should not be allowed to attend the congressional hearing set to certify Biden's presidency on January 6.
"Any member of Congress who attended the mostly mask-less Mar-a-Lago New Year’s party shouldn’t be allowed to go in person to the joint session on January 6," said co-founder of the Democratic Coalition Scott Dworkin.

Florida Rep. Omari Hardy is calling on the Palm Beach municipality to shut down the Mar-a-Lago resort for flouting health restrictions set for businesses.
“I am calling on Palm Beach County to fine Mar-a-Lago and to shut it down," Hardy said in a statement, according to CBS. "The county must be assured that this business will comply with our local mask mandate before it is allowed to reopen."
"Mar-a-Lago is a club. A club is a business. Businesses must abide by Palm Beach County's mask order, or be fined or even shut down," he added on Twitter. "We knew that Trump was hosting a New Year's party. I'll be reaching out to folks at @pbcgov to ask why we weren't ready to enforce the mandate here."
Reuters contributed to this report.