Two weeks ago, as fears of COVID-19 began to permeate the public consciousness, guests contracted coronavirus at a disco party hosted at Trump National Golf Club in California.
Susan Brooks celebrated her 70th birthday March 8 at the Rancho Palos Verdes golf club, where she was joined by family, friends and local political figures -- and she learned a week later that one of the guests had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reported the Los Angeles Times.
She soon tested positive, and so have three other guests.
Brooks, formerly the city's mayor, referred questions to her daughter Meredith Brooks, who said they asked guests to stay away if they felt ill, as public health officials had advised at the time.
“Weddings were going on that weekend,” the younger Brooks told the newspaper. “Parties were going on that weekend. Life was going on as normal — it was the last normal weekend we had, but it was a normal weekend.”
Susan Brooks asked friend Janice Hahn, who's the Los Angeles County supervisor, whether she should cancel the event, but she advised her to send a strongly worded email warning guests to stay home if they felt ill.
Hahn was alarmed by how little other guests seemed to regard the recommendations of public health officials about avoiding contact.
They passed around a single microphone for toasting Brooks, and Hahn thought they went out of their way to shake hands or hug instead of bump fists or elbows.
“It was, ‘Oh, this is media pollution, you’re overblowing this,’” Hahn said. “I remember going home that night feeling a little bit ashamed.”
Brooks was forced to send out another urgent email a week later after a guest tested positive for COVID-19, and the hostess and four others -- including Rancho Palos Verdes’ mayor -- have tested positive.
The mayor pro tem has not shown symptoms or been tested, but he has chosen to self-quarantine as a precaution.
Hahn has not been tested because she also has not shown symptoms.