Gay conservative Lucian Wintrich, the creator of the “Twinks4Trump” photo exhibit, hosted a “corona potluck” in his New York City apartment March 14, encouraging his friends to socialize in close quarters despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
“They can’t diagnose us all!” said his invitation, shared by the New York Post. “Don’t wash your hands, bring your fav dish!” It featured an image of a boy broken out in chicken pox and a coronavirus spore with a fork in it.
Wintrich, 31, who was once White House correspondent for the far-right Gateway Pundit site, said the party attendees did not seek to expose one another to the virus, but all the guests were young adults who were likely to recover quickly if they contracted it and then develop immunity.
“I wouldn’t hang around folks over the age of 50 and risk infecting the more vulnerable,” Wintrich told the Post.
Actually, while older people are at greater risk for serious complications and death from the virus, young people have developed severe symptoms, and some have died.
Wintrich added that the party was “relatively inspired by the chicken pox parties that were all the rage in the ’90s,” with parents seeking to expose children to the disease to make them immune.
About 20 people attended Wintrich’s party, which took place after Broadway shows and other large events in New York City had ceased, and the day before the city closed schools, bars, and restaurants and issued social distancing guidelines; many people had already been practicing social distancing. New York is now the epicenter of the epidemic and has ordered residents to leave their homes only for essential purposes.
One of party guests interviewed by the Post expressed reservations about the gathering but went anyway, while another likened the situation to British establishments staying open while Germany dropped bombs during World War II.
“When Britain was being bombed by Nazi Germany during the blitz, they kept the fucking stores open,” said the latter guest, who asked to remain anonymous. “People went about their lives. We get a flu … and we shut everything down. … We have completely handed over our civil liberties … and anyone who wants to go out and live a normal life is semi-ostracized.”
While opposing social distancing seems radical during a pandemic, there are some medical professionals who share the view. Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former chief biostatistician and epidemiologist at Rockefeller University Hospital, told the Post that if the most vulnerable people are isolated and others go about their normal lives, the majority of the population will have mild viral symptoms at most and then become immune. Some other physicians and scientists agree, but others point out that if a large segment of the populace contracts the virus, hospitals will be overwhelmed.