Perhaps America's appetite for attending indoor parties during a pandemic is waning? The Washington Post reports an annual State Department holiday party that was to be hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife had anemic turnout on Tuesday. Of the 900-plus guests invited, about 70 RSVP'd yes, but not all of them ended up attending. Pompeo himself canceled a scheduled speech at the event, with Politico on Wednesday reporting that Pompeo is in quarantine after COVID-19 exposure, though he has thus far tested negative. The State Department provided no further details about the exposure.
As for Tuesday's reception, ABC News previously reported that this particular event is for the families of diplomats assigned to "unaccompanied" posts—ones where family members aren't permitted along. Not all of those families live in DC, so in a normal year, 200 to 300 people typically attend. The Post did get a comment from one invitee who declined to attend this year, calling it a "completely irresponsible party to throw." She told the paper that with her husband working abroad as a diplomat, should she become sick she'd have no one to care for her children. (Read more State Department stories.)