New York Young Republican Club president Gavin Wax said in a statement on Tuesday that “our club has held its annual gala without interruptions for the past 107 years, through two world wars and the Spanish Flu.” The annual gala is scheduled to be held in Manhattan on Thursday.
“We felt it was important as an institution to continue that great legacy and tradition,” he continued. “In doing so, we will comply with all state-mandated capacity limits and social distancing requirements. Masks will be required when attendees are not seated, and temperatures will be taken at [the] door.”
Wax, who said in a tweet Tuesday that he won’t take the COVID-19 vaccine, called the state’s pandemic restrictions “capricious,” saying he disagrees “with both lockdowns and capacity restrictions in principle, as they are unconstitutional and unscientific.”
“They have done nothing to slow the spread of this novel disease and are simply measures designed to control and subvert a population through fear tactics,” he added.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, club president Gavin Wax claimed the evening soirée headlined by Gov. Sarah Palin and Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe would comply with what he called New York’s “capricious” guidelines, which include a 50-person limit on indoor gatherings.
But on a Facebook page for the 108th annual gala, 68 people had already marked themselves as attending and another and 239 people said they were “interested,” and Wax did not answer follow-up questions about that apparent inconsistency. Meanwhile, Wax tweeted on Tuesday morning that the event had sold out.
The original venue for the party, The Caldwell Factory, has a capacity of 500 people, but the plan to hold it there appeared to be in flux on Tuesday when the site’s name was suddenly removed from the gala’s eventbrite page. The Caldwell Factory in Chelsea did not respond to requests for comment. By Tuesday morning, the location was changed on the site to “to be announced.”
Wax declined to say how many tickets have been sold for the gala, or whether Palin would attend in-person or virtually. The location of the black-tie affair would not be made public beforehand, he said.
Although the forecast for Thursday evening in New York City appeared to hover around 47 degrees, since the previous venue apparently fell through, it was theoretically possible that the group was attempting to find an outdoor venue that could accommodate a larger number of people without violating state or city guidelines.