Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Rodney Strong said, "It was alarming to see Facebook posts showing attendees at the recent Lincoln Day dinner failing to follow the widely recommended practices to reduce the spread of COVID19. Not one person pictured at the local Republican Party's annual fundraiser was wearing a face mask or practicing appropriate social distancing."
He said, "In this time of the COVID19 crisis, people are looking to their leaders for answers and directions.
It is incumbent on those with leadership responsibilities to be aware of the influence their actions can have on the decisions that people make that directly affect their health and the health of those around them. By acting together as a community, we can more quickly navigate the treacherous waters we find ourselves in and arrive at a safe harbor.
"The public health experts across the nation have made it abundantly clear that the best protocols to follow to avoid the spread of COVID19 is to take steps that reduce the passing of the disease from one person to another. These steps include wearing a face mask properly, avoiding large gatherings and maintaining safe distancing when in personal contact with others. If everybody follows these guidelines, we can get COVID19 under control and more quickly resume a normal way of life.
"The images that have been displayed from the Hamilton County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday night show a failure to exercise the leadership that is so desperately needed during this time. The images of community leaders gathering in a large group with no one wearing a mask, no exercise of social distancing and personal contact without protective measures being taken sets exactly the wrong kind of example for this time.
"The risk to the health of those present and to those who may come in contact with them cannot be overstated.
"While a fundraising event is always important to an organization, in times like this, the better course is to take advantage of the technology we have and to do such events virtually. This protects those at risk and prevents COVID19 from being spread even further. If there is an insistence on doing an in-person event, show some real leadership by example by following the recommended guidelines from the CDC and other public health experts.
"That is why the Hamilton County Democratic Party is committed to avoiding large in person events. Even with the planning for the annual Kefauver Dinner, the planning is for a virtual event to avoid the unintended consequences of an in-person gathering.
"Everyone in a leadership position should commit to set a good example by our actions and the steps we take to avoid the spread of COVID19 and to bring about a successful conclusion to this tragic episode in our history."