Influencers have been slammed online for throwing a huge parties as California struggles to deal with Covid-19, with the state running out of hospital beds and space for dead bodies.
An independent celebrity gossip website has leaked videos and images from a New Year’s Eve party it claims was attended by more that 600 people at a home in Encino, LA.
Crowded scenes of party goers not wearing masks or social distancing were shared, the website also claims drug use and under age drinking were rife amongst social media influencers.
Much of the state is under stay at home orders.
“Many underage influencers posted publicly intoxicated with huge amounts of alcohol and drugs,” Tweets from Def Noodle claimed, along with videos.
Several influencers popular on platforms such as TikTok and OnlyFans were named and shamed as those who attended or held other “super spreader events”.
Fox News editor Malik Earnest posted video from one party as he danced and partied with unmasked people, in the videos he encourages several people who had just kissed each other, to kiss him on the cheek, he later shows video of his hands covered in blood explaining that he had broken up a fight.
The parties have drawn extra scorn online due to the disastrous situation of California’s pandemic fight, particularly Los Angeles which is struggling under the weight of the Covid-19 patient loads in the wake of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Hospitals, particularly in Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley in the middle of the state, have been overrun with virus patients and don’t have any more intensive care unit beds for coronavirus patients.
Funeral homes can’t keep up
Los Angeles County has become the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis in California, having surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths alone.
Nationally, an average of just over 2500 people have died of Covid-19 over the past seven days, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Funeral homes in the hot spot of Southern California have reported having to turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up.
The head of the state funeral directors association says mortuaries are being inundated as the US nears a grim tally of 350,000 official Covid-19 deaths.
More than 20 million people in the country have been infected.
"I've been in the funeral industry for 40 years and never in my life did I think that this could happen, that I'd have to tell a family, 'No, we can't take your family member,"' said Magda Maldonado, owner of Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles.
Continental is averaging about 30 body removals a day - six times its normal rate. Mortuary owners are calling one another to see whether anyone can handle overflow, and the answer is always the same: They're full, too.
In order to keep up with the flood of bodies, Ms Maldonado has rented extra 15-metre refrigerators for two of the four facilities she runs in LA and surrounding counties.
Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Funeral Directors Association said every funeral home he speaks to is struggling to keep up.
"The volume is just incredible and they fear that they won't be able to keep up," he said.
"And the worst of the surge could still be ahead of us.”
Continental has also been delaying pickups at hospitals for a day or two while they deal with residential clients.
Californian hospitals run short on supplies
Hospitals in the area are overwhelmed, and are struggling to keep up with basics such as oxygen as they treat an unprecedented number of patients with respiratory issues.
On Saturday (local time), US Army Corps of Engineers crews arrived to update some hospital's oxygen delivery systems.
The number of daily newly reported cases in that period has averaged close to 195,000, a decline from two weeks earlier.
It's feared that holiday gatherings could fuel yet another rise in cases in the coming weeks.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.