Trump's Florida club warned over maskless New Year party

Trump's Florida club warned over maskless New Year party

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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MIAMI,United States(AFP)— President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida has received a warning from county authorities, following video of the luxury retreat's New Year's Eve party that showed a crowd of revellers ignoring COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite a county rule that requires masks when not eating or drinking, "it seemed that based on the video evidence, there was a breakdown in enforcement of the mask orders that led to almost the entire room of guests being without masks during the later evening activities," said the warning letter and notice of violation from Palm Beach County, which was obtained Thursday by AFP.

The January 12 letter was addressed to the vice president and director of Mar-a-Lago, Bernd Lembcke, after one of the president's sons, Donald Trump Jr, posted a video of the festivities on social media.

"Ok this is amazing. Vanilla Ice is playing the Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve party. As a child of the 90s you can't fathom how awesome that is," the younger Trump commented on a video he posted showing the rapper singing his 1989 hit "Ice Ice Baby."

In the clip, a maskless crowd dances and sings in front of the stage, without regard to social distancing.

The county warned that Mar-a-Lago could face a fine of up to US$15,000 "if there are future violations of the county's COVID-19 related orders."

President Trump and first lady Melania had been expected to attend the New Year's party at the Palm Beach resort -- about 70 miles (115 kilometres) north of Miami -- but they both returned to Washington earlier that day.

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