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Maskless Conga Line at Party Puts GOP Club on the Defense

'There's no pandemic clause in the Constitution,' the Whitestone Republican Club posted
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2020 12:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Maskless holiday parties with exuberant conga lines aren't exactly de rigueur this year, but that doesn't mean there haven't been any. Per the New York Times, journalist Matt Binder posted a video online Monday that showed members of the Whitestone Republican Club—including club President Vickie Paladino, who's also running for City Council—during a Dec. 9 event at Il Bacco restaurant in Queens. The festivities included a conga line with more than a dozen maskless people on it snaking around the room to the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing." The line was led by ex-GOP Assembly candidate James Martinosky, who held a large Trump 2020 flag, per the Queens Eagle. On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke on the matter. "Why you would do an unmasked conga line in the middle of a COVID pandemic, whatever your political persuasion, defies a logical explanation."

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In a Tuesday morning Facebook post, the club defended the get-together: "Every attendee was told to wear a mask and everyone either had one when entering or was given one." In a more defiant follow-up post, the club accused the media of "freaking out" about its "perfectly ordinary and unremarkable" event. "Adults have the absolute right to make their own decisions, and clearly many chose to interact like normal humans and not paranoid zombies in hazmat suits," the post read. "There's no pandemic clause in the Constitution." The office of Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking issue with the club's stance, however, and says "significant fines" will be doled out, perhaps for both the group and the restaurant. "There will continue to be consequences for putting New Yorkers at risk," a mayor's rep tells the Times. (Read more Republicans stories.)

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