DELEGATES at a high-profile conference booed hosts when urged to wear masks to comply with hotel regulations put in place to prevent Covid infections that have resulted in at least half-a-million deaths across the United States.
Officials at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC 2021 took to the ballroom stage at the Hyatt Regency Orlando to plead with attendees to wear masks as the event was being held on private property.
“When you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” CPAC deputy director Carly Patrick told the audience on the first day of the event organised by the American Conservative Union.
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ACU executive director Dan Schneider was also jeered amid shouts of “freedom” from the ballroom floor when he also urged delegates to respect the rules of the venue.
“I know this might sound like a little bit of a downer, but we also believe in property rights, and this is a private hotel,” Schneider was quoted by website Politico as saying. “And we believe in the rule of law, so we need to comply with the laws of this county that we’re in. But a private hotel, just like your house, gets to set its own rules.”
The conference heard from former president Donald Trump and leading Republican Party members who criticised the measures taken across the US to combat Covid.
They also lambasted the state of Maryland where the conference was originally due to be held. CPAC 2021 was relocated to Orlando, Florida, due to restrictions on large gatherings in Maryland which borders Washington DC.
There were also reports of delegates ignoring Hyatt regulations by not wearing masks when walking around other areas of the hotel during the opening two days of the conference, which started on February 26.
According to official figures, more than Covid continues to claim more than 2,000 lives daily across the US.