Trump is reportedly planning to host hundreds of guests at a lavish New Year’s Eve bash at Mar-a-Lago as COVID-19 cases continue to soar

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Donald and Melania Trump at a New Year’s Eve party in 2016 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump is still set to host the annual New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, despite the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported on Tuesday.

  • A Mar-a-Lago member told CNN that they’d heard at least 500 reservations had been confirmed so far.

  • The lavish end-of-year party is a Trump family tradition that high-profile guests have paid large sums to attend.

  • It’s unclear whether any coronavirus measures will be in place, CNN said.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump plans to end the year in style, as preparations for the annual New Year’s Eve gala at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida are well underway, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The lavish black-tie event is a Trump family tradition that dates back to 2000. Attendees reportedly paid $1,000 a ticket in 2019.

While it’s unclear how many people are planning to attend this end-of-year bash, a Mar-a-Lago member told CNN on Tuesday that they’d heard at least 500 reservations had been made so far.

It’s also unclear whether any coronavirus measures will be in place or whether guests must adhere to them, CNN said.

The president’s family, celebrities, and Republican bigwigs such as Rudy Giuliani, now Trump’s attorney, have attended the party in the past.

Trump was not able to attend in 2018 because of the government shutdown, but first lady Melania Trump kept the show going without her husband.

The president last week left the White House to go to his newly renovated luxury residence in Palm Beach. Since then, he has mostly been playing golf and tweeting about stimulus checks.

Despite the pandemic, activities at Mar-a-Lago seem to be in full swing – one member told CNN that the beach-club area by the pool had been so crowded that guests had argued over the available chairs.

“People are going for dinner as usual,” the person said, adding that there seemed to be “little regard for the pandemic.”

Story continues

Coronavirus cases and deaths have continued to soar in many areas of the country. As of Wednesday, more than 19.5 million people had contracted the coronavirus in the United States, and nearly 340,000 people had died from it, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

On Tuesday, Florida reported more than 12,000 coronavirus cases and about 100 virus-related deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN this week that the country was at a critical place and that the worst is yet to come.

“We very well might see a post-seasonal – in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s – surge, and, as I’ve described it, as a surge upon a surge,” Fauci said.

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