Trump’s Mar-a-Lago warned over coronavirus mask violations

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – The inability of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club to enforce the Palm Beach County Mask Ordinance at its New Years Eve party has resulted in a warning, but no fine or other sanction.

The county sent a letter to club manager Bernd Lembcke on Wednesday telling him that future violations of the county’s coronavirus ordinance could result in fines of up to $ 15,000 per violation. Video from the party shows a few of the 500 guests wearing masks as they took to the dance floor as rapper Vanilla Ice, Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love and singer Taylor Dayne performed.

Todd Bonlarron, the deputy county administrator, said in the letter that while the club may have distributed masks to their guests, “there was a breakdown in the enforcement of mask orders which led to so that almost the entire guest room is maskless. ” He wrote that he is encouraged that Lembcke has promised to implement the ordinance in the future.

“Your recognition and commitment to enforce these laws was evident during our visit,” he wrote. Palm Beach County has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 90,000 reported cases and nearly 2,000 deaths. It has a population of 1.5 million people.

Lembcke and the Trump organization did not respond to calls on Thursday seeking comment.

Democratic state representative Omari Hardy, who lodged a complaint with the county, did not immediately return a call Thursday asking for comment. Hardy, who represents a neighborhood near Mar-a-Lago, said last week that he found “offensive and disrespectful” that “those out-of-towers overnight cannot wear a mask.” He said they put club staff and the community at risk.

Trump was scheduled to attend the $ 1,000 per ticket party, but he left Mar-a-Lago hours before the start as he spent the weekend trying to reverse his election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. His sons Don Jr. and Eric were in attendance, along with his attorney Rudy Giuliani, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro and US Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is one of the president’s strongest supporters.

“This is amazing. Vanilla Ice is playing at the Mar-a-Lago New Years party. As a kid of the ’90s, you can’t imagine how awesome it is,” Donald Trump Jr. Facebook post which included a video of the party. The video showed scores of participants bouncing and singing as the rapper performed his decades-old hit, “Ice Ice Baby.”

Last month, a neighbor in Mar-a-Lago filed a complaint with the city of Palm Beach challenging Trump’s possible move to the resort after he left on Wednesday. When the city agreed in 1993 to convert the private residence into a club, its lawyer said he would no longer live there. The city said it would look into the complaint if Trump moves to the station, which he made his official residence in 2019.

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