Christian radio host and financial guru Dave Ramsey has been criticised for holding a massive in-person Christmas party at his company's headquarters.
Ramsey, an American Christian who is known for his straight-talking debt advice and his radio programme 'The Dave Ramsey Show', reportedly invited around 1,500 people to the bash, which featured igloos, dessert food trucks and carriage rides.
A worker at the event, speaking on condition of anonymity, told HuffPost that they estimated approximately 1000 people were inside the Ramsey Solutions building in Franklin, Tennessee, with very few wearing masks. “There was absolutely no [social] distancing being practiced,” the worker remarked.
Ramsey, who regularly preaches on his principles of Biblical finance at churches across the US, has previously branded some of the Covid-19 restrictions as "totalitarian" and has opted to keep most of his employees in the office during the pandemic. The Religion News Service reported that around 50 staff members tested positive for the virus in November.
An invite to the "Boots & BBQ” Christmas party reportedly detailed that no children were allowed to attend and that employees were limited to one guest each.
Currently, more than 2,600 Tennesseeans are hospitalised with the disease. Williamson County’s mask mandate only applies to “publicly accessible” places and is not imposed on corporate buildings. A spokesperson for the state health department noted that the agency “would not have any jurisdiction over such an event" due to it being held on private property. She urged all local residents to social distance and wear a face mask.
Speaking about his frustration over the Covid-19 restrictions in Tennessee, Ramsey insisted in a recent radio broadcast that he had "made a commitment to God to be kind to people who I don't agree with on these issues" but that it has "been very hard".
"Some of these people are absolutely misbehaving," he said. "The way they are treating each other; the number of times I've been screeched at for not wearing a mask. The number of times I go into a business and the business abuses me as a customer. I am tired of it. I'm really getting weary."
"It has gotten out of hand," Ramsey continued. "I'm getting angry...I'm getting ready to start a crusade against these people."