It may be a merry COVID Christmas for hundreds of maskless guests around Nashville who gorged themselves on the barbecue and danced in line at a ‘Boots & BBQ’ party hosted by the Christian radio personality and personal finance guru Dave Ramsey.
Ramsey, who is the biggest proponent of the ‘snowball method’ of debt control, has an audience of more than 17 million loyal radio and podcast listeners to whom he has preached the COVID conspiracy theory as a staunch COVID denier, keeping the offices of his media empire open even to employees who had tested positive for the virus. He called the lockdown measures “totalitarian” on his radio show and urged listeners and employees not to be “ruled by fear” and not to fall into what he called the hoax and the hype about wearing masks and skyrocketing death rates – despite Tennessee hitting its highest peak in 24-hour cases with 11,352 new infections the day after Ramsey’s party.
The indoor party took place on Saturday night at the headquarters of the Ramsey Solutions company, according to the Nashville scene. Igloos and sleigh rides created the holiday atmosphere outside the site. The party was so big that the 1,500 guests were given cards directing them to the various open bars, the pop-up casino and the “silent disco” area, where they danced until late into the night. A party worker said there was a stack of masks at the entrance but they were not required to wear them.
the Scene reported that the shindig took place on multiple floors of the building and a worker said there were at least 1,000 guests inside at a time. “There was absolutely no [social] with distancing being practiced, ”a worker told the Scene, adding that neither he nor most of the other workers wore masks at Ramsey’s request to avoid “making guests uncomfortable.” Many workers would still have worn them.
A private security service ensured that only invited guests entered, as several local media reported being “escorted”. the Scene reported that many caterers felt compelled to serve the party for fear of being prevented from entering into other contracts. Attempts to reach Ramsey Solutions by local media went unanswered, although Megan McConnell, a company spokesperson sent an internal memo to staff warning: “If and when you see controversial or negative things about from Dave or RS on social media, please do not defend or engage us. with that. This only increases the visibility of the post (and we’re not concerned about these people anyway). “
The Tennessee State Department of Health has a mask mandate for public areas, but a spokesperson said the agency would have “no jurisdiction over such an event” since it was located on private property.
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