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A New York City Republican club is now firing back at critics – including the Big Apple’s "idiot mayor" and "King Cuomo" – after its members were filmed dancing in a maskless conga line during a recent holiday party.
At least 50 people attended the indoor celebration at the Il Bacco Ristorante in the city’s Queens borough on Dec. 9, according to the Queens Daily Eagle. A video posted on Twitter of Whitestone Republican Club members singing and dancing along to the music of the Bee Gees has since gone viral with 3.5 million views.
"Yes, we held a holiday party. A good time was had by all. We abided by all precautions. But we are not the mask police, nor are we the social distancing police," the Club wrote in a statement this week. "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 Whitestone Republican Club party was on Dec. 9 at the Il Bacco Ristorante in Little Neck, Queens, reports say. (Google Street View)
(Google street view)
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"We ALL have the inalienable right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble, and that's what we did," the statement continued. "There's no pandemic clause in the Constitution, no matter how badly the media and Cuomo want you to believe otherwise."
At one point in the footage, a woman identified by the Queens Daily Eagle as Vickie Paladino – who is running for a seat in the New York City Council next year – jumps to the front of the conga line.
The video was blasted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered indoor dining to close in New York City on Dec. 14.
"COVID conga lines are not smart. That's my official position," Cuomo told reporters during a press conference Tuesday. "Why you would do an unmasked conga line in the middle of a COVID pandemic – whatever your political persuasion – defies logical explanation as far as I am concerned."
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said he expects the city’s sheriff will investigate the gathering.
"Anyone who violates the state rules, we're going to go deal with, and we have been. We've been giving out really serious fines up to $15,000 to people who organize events or host events. We'll keep doing that," he said during an appearance this week on the NY1 channel. "So, I'm certain the sheriff and other city agencies are going to follow up.
"But look, I mean, at this point, what do people need to learn about the coronavirus to understand it can be deadly?" he added.
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However, the Whitestone Republican Club appeared to shrug off the criticism.
"Our idiot mayor and even King Cuomo himself have commented on it, which is just absolutely hilarious for so many reasons," it said. "The fact that the two most powerful people in the state are talking about our little party speaks volumes about their priorities, as well as how hypersensitive they are to even the slightest threat to the dictatorial authority they crave."
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