Annie Karni, the New York Times's White House correspondent, has received severe backlash for an interview she gave regarding ex-president Barack Obama's controversial 60th birthday bash.
Karni in the interview called the crowd "sophisticated" and said that they were "following all safety precautions, although, as can be seen from this article's image, Obama was (and most of the guests were) maskless and less than 3 feet from someone outside of his household.
"Other people said, you know, [Criticism of Obama's party] is really being overblown. They're following all the safety precautions. There are sporting events that are bigger than this. This is going to be safe. This is a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd, and this is just about optics, not safety," said Karni in the above clip.
People quickly let Karni have it with both barrels on Twitter. Journalist and author Glen Greenwald quipped, "Yes, it's a pandemic and a crisis, but let the sophisticated people have their fun!"
"Yes, it's a pandemic and a crisis, but let the sophisticated people have their fun!"
Harmeet K. Dhillon, a lawyer and the founder of the Center for American Liberty, tweeted, "Of course viruses don’t attack sophisticated people, Muffy!" also pointing out what is perceived to be the inherent classism in Karni's statement.
Karni herself fired back with, "Watch the full clip. The Q was, what do people on the island think of the party? The A was me summarizing views of ppl I spoke with: some are upset, + others think the concerns about it are overblown. 'Sophisticated crowd' was from a quote in the story:"
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently publicly criticized this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, calling it a possible "super-spreader" event, but was silent on the Obama bash.
According to the Daily Mail, Fauci said, "To me it's understandable that people want to do the kinds of things they want to do. They want their freedom to do that."
"But there comes a time when you're dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do."