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Kevin McCarthy defends son's wedding amid COVID-19 surge in California

Kevin McCarthy defends son's wedding amid COVID-19 surge in California
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Pelosi picks Democrats for special panel tackling inequality MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday defended having his son’s wedding in December during a worrisome surge in coronavirus cases in California.

In a lengthy Facebook post, McCarthy maintained that the event was limited to 13 close family members rather than the 300 who were originally planning to attend. 

“Unfortunately, the pandemic caused the day to be shared only with parents, grandparents, and sisters. No uncles, no aunts, no cousins, and no friends. Making the decision to go forward with only this small group of family was a decision made by the bride and groom. They love their grandparents and wanted them above all others to be there to witness their ceremony,” he wrote.

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He also lashed out at The Los Angeles Times following a report on the wedding the paper published Thursday.

“The LA Times decided sleuthing micro-weddings (commonly 20 or less invited guests and promoted by the LA Times themselves in November - what an irony) of private citizens was an opportunity to try to disparage a Republican. This gets pretty close to the bottom of the barrel for most ‘news’ organizations. But then again, the LA Times thinks shoveling your neighbor’s driveway is a forbidden activity,” McCarthy added. 

The defense came after the Times reported on videos of the wedding, including one showing McCarthy with a small but mostly maskless outdoor crowd. The paper noted the wedding appeared to violate state rules prohibiting wedding receptions and requiring attendees at wedding ceremonies to wear masks. 

Around the same time in December, McCarthy had also mocked Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia grid operator calls on residents to conserve electricity amid heat wave California hydroelectric plant expected to shut down for the first time in 50 years Beyond California, a record year for recalls MORE’s (D) controversial November attendance at an exclusive party for a political ally, suggesting Democrats only "show up" at fancy restaurants. 

December was one of the harshest months for California during the coronavirus pandemic. The state was forced to reimplement regional stay-at-home orders amid spiking cases and dwindling capacities in hospitals' intensive care units.

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“Our reality is frightening at the moment,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at the time.

McCarthy has been a vocal opponent of Sacramento’s coronavirus restrictions, which included stay-at-home orders and other limits on gatherings, including calling the lockdown orders "arbitrary" in a statement to the LA Times.

However, he maintained that he and his family worked to ensure his son’s wedding was a safe affair. 

“We took every precaution to ensure a safe celebration -- starting with just 13 family members. We spent the majority of the time outside with the dinner following the ceremony in an almost completely open area. We wore masks indoors that day, except in those instances where some had to let makeup dry or when we were eating. We were respectful of the event staff and each other - on the day of the event and the lead-up as well,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Did our families get close to one another? Of course. Did we feel safe? Of course,” he added. “Would I celebrate this beautiful day on December 5, 2020 again. You better believe it.”