News & Politics

A “No Masks Allowed” Party at the Trump Hotel Has Been Canceled

Photo of the Trump International Hotel by Jeff Elkins
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

A “NO MASKS ALLOWED” birthday party scheduled to take place at the Trump International Hotel in downtown DC this week has been canceled. ABC News reported Tuesday about the party. The host was Greg Aselbekian, who told ABC News he’d had Covid-19 already and that President Trump’s recent about-face on masks wouldn’t influence his decision to party bare-faced. “I think for myself. I don’t follow a politician or a person blindly,” he said. On Wednesday, however, he canceled the event, according to a Facebook post.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new mask mandate in DC Wednesday. A representative of the Trump Hotel has not yet responded to an email and a phone call requesting comment on Aselbekian’s party but in May told Washingtonian, “We are proud to continue to deliver world-class service to our guests while closely following guidance from the CDC, federal, state and local offices.”

Aselbekian is an aspiring MAGA influencer-about-town whom Washingtonian first encountered when he attempted to share credit for stopping a flag-burning outside the White House last summer. Aselbekian’s friend Jerome Duprey actually grabbed the burning flag from the activists who burned it, but Aselbekian was instrumental in getting photos of them together. Two days later he spoke at the alt-right “Demand Free Speech” rally in DC and claimed he’d been kicked off Tinder because of his conservative views. Before the pandemic, he was frequently seen at the hotel, as Jessica Sidman reported earlier this year.

Aselbekian, left, and Duprey on July 4, 2019. Photograph by Andrew Beaujon.

Had Aselbekian’s party proceeded, he would not have been the first maskless guest at the hotel since the pandemic. As ABC News reported, guests at the hotel frequently flout guidance about masks, and employees have been spotted without them as well. The reporter Zach Everson, who closely watches the Trump Hotel, has posted numerous photos of maskless visitors.

The initial announcement for Aselbekian’s party said festivities would begin at Harry’s bar on Saturday afternoon and finish at the hotel, where he planned to stay the evening. Seventeen people indicated on Facebook that they planned to attend. Attempts to reach Aselbekian by phone and text message were not immediately successful.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.