His opponent says social distancing not practiced, masks not worn.
Frederick, Md (KM) A combination 50th birthday party and political raiser is generated some controversy.
Sixth District Congressional Challenger Neil Parrott (R) held the party at Antietam Recreation in Washington County earlier this month. But Incumbent Representative David Trone (D) told The Washington Post no precautions were taken by guests to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Parrott says safety precautions were taken to guard against the coronavirus. “At our event, we did make sure that we were following the guidelines of the state of Maryland,” he said. “We made sure that people could be comfortably six-feet apart which they could because these grounds are huge. At the sign in, we had masks that we had purchased. So anyone who didn’t have a mask, they got one when they signed up. Throughout the whole park, we had several different cleaning stations where people could stop and wash their hands. So the attack that we weren’t careful at all is simply not true.”
The account in the Washington Post says photos from the event show people in close proximity at an outdoor pavilion and at a buffet line, and they were not wearing masks. The paper says Parrott had a mask with him, but “for the most part”: chose not to wear it.
Parrott, whose running for Congress from the 6th District, is hoping to defeat Trone in November.
He also cites Trone’s web page which shows the incumbent attended a demonstration in Frederick in June with about 1,000 people who were calling for racial justice. Parrott said that’s more than the number of guests who attended his birthday party. “The hypocrisy from Trone’s team to come after me for 300 people to celebrate my 50th birthday party is unbelievable. It’s astounding,” he said. “Look at the pictures of the people in Frederick There’s no comparison. They’ were close together, right on top of each other.”
In response, Trone’s office issued a statement saying the Congressman “first priority is the health and safety of all Marylanders, and he always tries following the guidance of health professionals to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.” The statement goes on to say: “He believes right now is the time for us to unite together against this deadly virus so we can continue to lower the number of cases and continue a safe reopening plan.”
During the 2020 campaign, Parrott has said Trone does not live in the 6th District. Trone has said the Republican who ran against him in 2018 did not live in the 6th District either.
The US Consitution says members of the House of Representatives only need to live in the state where the district is located. It does not specify that Representatives live in the district they want to represent on Capitol Hil.
By Kevin McManus