The popular electronic duo The Chainsmokers are facing widespread criticism after videos of their concert over the weekend in Southampton, New York, were widely circulated on social media.
Ironically, the concert was called "Safe & Sound" and was intended to be a "safe," "drive-in" gathering, with attendees required to stay within a certain foot radius of their car and only able to leave to use the restroom, when they would need to wear a mask.
However, video footage from the concert, shared by multiple Twitter users including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo showed crowds of people standing close to each other without any social distancing guidelines in place. Some of the concertgoers were seen not even wearing masks.
"Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations," Cuomo tweeted. "I am appalled. The Department of Health will conduct an investigation. We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health."
Dr. Howard Zucker, New York's health commissioner, also wrote a letter to the supervisor of the town of Southhampton, Jay Schneiderman, on Monday citing the state's "declared state of emergency" and Cuomo's executive order, which bans non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people.
"I am greatly disturbed by reports concerning the 'drive-in' concert held in your town this past weekend, which apparently involved thousands of people in close proximity, out of their vehicles, a VIP area where there was no pretense of a vehicle, and generally not adhering to social distancing guidance," Zucker wrote.
"I am at a loss as to how the Town of Southhampton could have issued a permit for such an event, how they believed it was legal and not an obvious public health threat," he added before demanding local officials to provide details of the permit.
The concert also drew criticism from social media users given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "The Chainsmokers had a "Drive-in" concert last night, wrote Rex Chapman. "No social-distancing during a pandemic. We may be doomed..."
"The chainsmokers paving the way for 3,000 new hospitalizations. This is straight up irresponsible," commented one user, while another opined, "Fitting that The Chainsmokers are causing permanent lung damage."