Covid-19 makes Joe Biden’s first White House Christmas less merry

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So long eggnog, shrimp cocktail and pet-shaped sugar cookies.

It’s been a less merry holiday scene at the White House this year under Covid-19’s shadow. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden have replaced the packed parties and overflowing buffet tables of the past with food-free open houses, face masks and testing for the unvaccinated.

Beyond the impact on Biden’s first Christmas in office, the virus and its variants largely put the kibosh on the entire White House social scene for 2021, starting with an inauguration that positioned flags in place of people on the National Mall.

“I think it’s been really tough on them,” said Philip Dufour, who was Vice President Al Gore’s social secretary. He noted that many events were not held while the president and first lady did others over Zoom.

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