The founder of a gay pro-Trump movement hosted a “coronavirus potluck” party and encouraged guests to bring a plate of food and to not wash their hands.
Lucian Wintrich started "Twinks4Trump" – which produced a photo series of mostly shirtless gay men wearing MAGA hats – in 2016 to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Invitations to the 31-year-old’s 14 March party at his East Village, New York house featured an image of a coronavirus with a fork in it, as well as a young boy with chicken pox.
Speaking to the New York Post, Wintrich said:
The majority of folks I invited – if they got it – would recover fairly quickly and build up an immunity to the present form of Covid-19. It was relatively inspired by the chickenpox parties that were all the rage in the 90s.
He then clarified that nobody deliberately tried to infect anyone else, adding:
The quarantine, itself, is serious to a degree. I wouldn’t hang around folks over the age of 50 and risk infecting the more vulnerable.
Around 20 people reportedly attended the party, including 24-year-old friend Brian Alacorn:
I went because Lucian is my friend and he texted me. I thought I shouldn’t because of the social distancing, but my friends were already outside and I just kinda went.
At the time of writing, New York is effectively in a lockdown, with residents asked to stay at home and practice social distancing.
Wintrich’s party and his insistence for guests not to wash their hands goes against the current World Health Organization’s advice on stopping the spread of Covid-19.
People on social media were swift in condemning the party:
The death toll in the state of New York alone is now over 1,500 people with more than 75,000 confirmed cases.
While it’s true that serious side effects of the virus are more commonly found in people over 70, around half of all coronavirus cases in NY are people under 50 years old.