Right-wing organization Turning Point USA threw an indoor gala at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Photos of the event showed thousands of conservatives gathered at the president's golf resort without masks and flouting social distancing guidelines amid rising Covid-19 cases in the country.
Among the attendees were the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone, MyPillow's CEO Michael Lindell and Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Other conservatives included Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley.
Two tickets for the winter gala commanded $10,000, according to Turning Point USA's website. The tickets were sold out.
The gala's pictures showed maskless attendees sitting at tables of 10. Over the concerns of a spike in coronavirus cases, Palm Beach County officials extended a mandate on wearing masks in all businesses and public areas.
Lindell explained he attended the event long enough to have dinner and take some photos. While talking to DailyMail.com he dismissed concerns over the Covid-19 vaccine and reiterated the baseless claims about voter fraud in this year's presidential race.
Turning Point USA — founded by conservative Charlie Kirk — gained popularity among conservative college students. Every year, the organization holds a conference for students in Palm Beach. Since assuming office, the President spent holidays at Mar-a-Lago with his family and friends. However, this year chose to remain at the White House, where he spent Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The conference was addressed by Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle. Other conservatives who addressed the conference were Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak with students on Tuesday — marking the culmination of the five-day event.
The event came at a time when Florida has been hit hard by Covid-19. On Monday, the state recorded 11,015 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 107 deaths.