Parson: Packed weekend concert at Lake of the Ozarks captured by TMZ 'disappointing'
The comments at a news conference came three days after TMZpublished video of an event at Lazy Gators in Lake Ozark showing what appeared to be hundreds of people dancing with little if any masking or social distancing.
An online description of the event featuring the artist Borgeous advertised the show as part of a “Lit Lake” summer concert series.
“Disappointing is all I can tell you,” Parson told reporters when asked about the event. “Every day for months we’ve been up here telling people to social distance, social distance.”
As usual, he also framed taking precautions recommended by health experts as a matter of personal responsibility.
“Again,” Parson said, “people have got to take this responsibility on their own. The quicker we stop doing things like that, the quicker the state’s going to get back on track.”
The event follows weeks of COVID-19 caseloads and hospitalizations rising across the state, leading the White House’s coronavirus task force tolabel Missouri a “red zone”late last month and urge leaders to consider tougher restrictions on public life.
Some Missouri cities, including Springfield, have followed the lead of more than 25 other states in requiring people to wear masks in public in an effort to slow the spread.
But the counties surrounding Lake of the Ozarks have not participated in that trend, and Parson has repeatedly said he does not plan to issue a statewide mandate, preferring restrictions to come from the local government level.
Parson had already made that clear months ago, perhaps most notably when he said the state would not directly enforce a statewide social distancing requirement aftercrowded Memorial Day parties at the lake drew national attention and local officialsrefused to step in.
“You can’t send somebody out with every person in the state of Missouri to make sure they’re staying six feet apart,” Parson said at the time. “And I am not going to send the National Guard, I’m not going to send the highway patrol out to monitor this.”