Melania Trump's Halloween party sparks backlash amid COVID-19 concerns

The First lady has been criticised for planning the event in the midst of a pandemic.
The First lady has been criticised for planning the event in the midst of a pandemic. Photo credit: Twitter / @FLOTUS

US First Lady Melania Trump has received a raft of criticism following an announcement that the White House's Halloween celebration would be going ahead despite COVID-19 risks. 

In a statement released by the White House on Friday, Melania welcomed frontline workers, military families, and school children, to attend the White House celebration - complete with decorations and an "audience of costumed trick or treaters."

The statement confirmed "extra precautions" would be in place for the event including limited guest capacity, hand sanitiser, and a requirement for everyone over the age of two to wear a mask. 

But online critics have stressed this isn't enough and are labelling the celebration as a "horrible idea" and the next "super spreader" event. 

"Super spreader event, take two… ask any public health professional and they'll tell you this is a horrible idea," one Twitter user said. 

"On Sunday, the president and I will be giving COVID-19 to frontline workers, military families, and school children - fixed this for you," said another in response to Melania's tweet regarding the event. 

Others noted how unfair it was that many children in the US would be missing out on celebrating Halloween due to the pandemic, while the White House continued to have gatherings. 

Critics said the scariest part of the Halloween celebration would be not knowing whether you would walk away with COVID-19: "Come for the candy, stay for the plague," one Twitter user joked. 

Meanwhile, others took the chance to highlight the issue of children being separated from their families at the border, an effect of President Trump's zero-tolerance family separation policy for illegal immigrants. 

"Will you be welcoming the 545 children whose parents you've somehow 'misplaced' or are they being treated so well in their cages that they don't need more goodies?"

The White House's Halloween event is due to go ahead on October 25.