Celebs Who Ignored Pandemic Precautions

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States, social distancing and wearing masks remain divisive topics for some reason. And, of course, celebrities are no different. While we assume some stars mean well, the cringe since the pandemic started has been off the charts. Whether it be the "Imagine" sing-a-long, Jennifer Aniston's "Our first pandemic 2020" Christmas ornament, or Vanessa Hudgens suggesting and subsequently apologizing that people dying was "inevitable" and not that big of a deal, the celebrities were at it again during the novel coronavirus.

Groundhog Day actress Andie MacDowell and her two daughters, Margaret and Rainey Qualley, were captured on camera crawling under the gate of a park closed due to COVID-19 (via TMZ). Probably not the worst thing to be on the front page of TMZ for, but still. Optics, people.

While incredibly cringe, those examples didn't have the potential of putting lives in danger. So if a celebrity is going to ignore pandemic precautions and safety protocols, you'd think they would want to keep that to themselves to avoid the eventual backlash. Spoiler alert: these celebrities did not. Here are some celebs who ignored pandemic precautions.

Kendall Jenner's 25th birthday party caused backlash

You only turn 25 once, but when you're in the middle of a pandemic, you might want to keep your celebrations lowkey. But we're talking about the Kardashians and Jenners here, so you know "lowkey" was never an option. So, when Kendall Jenner hosted her Halloween-themed 25h birthday bash at 1 Hotel in West Hollywood with a star-studded guest list that included Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Jaden Smith, Kanye West, and Paris Hilton, the backlash began.

Less than a month before the party, the California Department of Public Health announced that "gatherings that include more than 3 households are prohibited. This includes everyone present, including hosts and guests. Remember, the smaller the number of people, the safer." During her appearance on SiriusXM's Radio AndyKris Jenner responded to the criticisms. "We're dealing with lots of people that have different opinions, and all we can do is live our lives the best way we know how and be responsible, and do the right thing. And we're doing that," she said. "I am very sensitive to what's going on. Believe me, you know, I've really tried so hard."

Jenner also explained that "everyone got tested before they walked in the door and they had to wait a half an hour until ... the results were in" and that Kendall was tested "a few days before" the party. She added that the family and the family's closest friends are "tested religiously."

Evangeline Lilly faced backlash over an Instagram post

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lost actress Evangeline Lilly took the time out of her day to post on Instagram, subsequently rubbing people the wrong way. "Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual," she captioned the photo of a cup of tea. We assume that tea was a little too hot.

In the comment section (via Vulture), Lilly revealed that she was living with her father who has stage 4 leukemia. "I am also immune compromised at the moment," she explained. "I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices." She also compared the protocols to Martial Law and COVID-19 the flu. "It's unnerving ... Let's be vigilant right now," she continued. "And kind. Watchful and gracious — keeping a close eye on our leaders, making sure they don't abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power."

Ten days later, Lilly offered an apology. She stated that her original post was in full compliance with her community's guidelines, but "those directives changed," and now she is doing her part to stop the spread. "I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology for the insensitivity I showed in my previous post to the very real suffering and fear that has gripped the world through COVID19," she wrote.

Kirk Cameron's led a maskless protest against California's stay at home orders

Former teen heartthrob-turned-evangelist Kirk Cameron came under fire for organizing large (and maskless) Christmas caroling events in Thousand Oaks to protest California's stay at home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer called the former Growing Pains star "very irresponsible and very dangerous" and claimed that she was "at a loss of words at this point" during a press conference (via Los Angeles Times).

Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pena also had some choice words for Cameron's actions. "Liberty and freedom are very fragile and they come with great responsibility. Continuing to hold large gatherings and ignoring all guidelines, I feel, is un-Christian," he said (via ABC7). Cameron responded to the criticism during an appearance on Fox News, saying, "he's no one to judge someone else's faith" and claimed that he organized the events for "a chance for people to come sing songs of hope" amid "devastation" in the town.

Tracey Gold, who played Cameron's sister on Growing Pains, weighed in on the controversy, tweeting: "Checking in with my dear brother Mike. @KirkCameron As your more intelligent sister I want you to know that I disapprove. I'm worried about you brother AND your family. Wear a mask. Stay home. Sing later."

Iggy Azalea couldn't keep her manicure to herself

In March 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the "Safer at Home" emergency order requiring all non-essential workers to stay at home. Well, he should have thought about that before he asked Iggy Azalea if she needed a manicure. The "Fancy" singer could have gotten the manicure and kept it to herself, but she tweeted: "Getting your nails done AND they turn out just how you wanted really does put you in the best mood."

If a nail salon was open, that would be one thing, but Azalea invited a nail technician to her home in total disregard to the emergency order. Obviously, some of her followers took issue with that, and she hit back on Twitter. "If I want to risk having a worker in my home that is my business, not yours," she responded in now-deleted tweets (via Daily Mail), telling another person, "I haven't left my house so if she did that's my choice to stay here and be sick. Also she's a nail tech, masked and gloved. Relax. We weren't tongue kissing I promise."

One fan wasn't buying it, tweeting: "It's everyone's business sis. [I love you] but come on now you're part of the problem. People can carry it and not know it..." We hope the new nails were worth it, Iggy.

James Harden was hit with a $50,000 fine for violating the NBA's safety protocols

According to ESPN, the NBA's COVID-19 safety protocols "prohibit players from going to bars, lounges or clubs and from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people." Apparently, Houston Rockets guard James Harden didn't get the memo. A video published on BSO showed a maskless Harden partying it up at the Selective Group Winter Ball with many strippers.

Harden didn't take too kindly to the criticism. "One thing after another. I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in position of success and now it's a problem," he wrote in an Instagram story (via ESPN). "Everyday it's something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can't. The real always end on top."

The NBA then gave him something different. "Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been fined $50,000 for violating the league's Health and Safety Protocols, which among other things prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations," the league said in an official statement. "Harden violated these rules when he attended a private indoor party on Monday, Dec. 21."

Chase Rice held a concert during a pandemic

In the summer of 2020, country singer Chase Rice held a concert in Tennessee where many of the fans were maskless and refused to social distance. Needless to say, he was slammed for the decision. "Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people's health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect, and play a NORMAL country concert right now. @ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait," country-pop star Kelsea Ballerini tweeted.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the venue stated "all local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken" and they "drastically reduced" their capacity "lower than the state's advisement of 50%." Although all the concert-goers were given temperature checks, they admitted they "we were unable to further enforce the physical distancing recommended in the signage posted across the property."

Rice addressed the controversy in an Instagram video, claiming that "everybody had a blast" but added, "there's a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on COVID-19." He then stated he would be having a drive-in show next and urged his fans to "get out of your cars, get out of your trucks" and to "please go by the rules, please go by the laws." He added, "The safer we are now, the quicker that we get to get to actual normal live shows."

Chris Cuomo refused to quarantine after being infected with COVID-19

The host of CNN's Cuomo Prime Time, Chris Cuomo, was one of the first celebrities to contract COVID-19. Less than two weeks after his diagnosis, Cuomo failed to quarantine properly and got into a fight with a cyclist who warned him to social distance. The cyclist, who only wanted to be identified as "David" by New York Post, explained that he saw Cuomo and his wife and son walking around in East Hampton. "I just looked and said, 'Is that Chris Cuomo? Isn't he supposed to be quarantined?'" David said.

Cuomo addressed the incident on his SiriusXM show (via New York Post). It didn't go well. "I don't want some jackass, loser, fat-tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bulls–t to me, I don't want to hear it," Cuomo said. "I want to be able to tell you to go to hell, to shut your mouth ... I don't get that doing what I do for a living: me being able to tell you to shut your mouth or I will do you the way you guys do each other."

During an on-air rant about Trump refusing to wear a mask, Cuomo admitted he infected his wife and child with COVID-19. "I got my wife and son sick just like he did. But with me, it crushed me. It left me ashamed and super sensitive to keeping people safe," he said (via New York Post).

Dwayne Haskins was fined then cut by the Washington Football Team

Already on thin ice due to his poor play, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins was slapped with a $40,000 fine, the largest the NFL has handed down for violating COVID-19 protocols, and stripped of his captain status after attending his party with his girlfriend (via NFL.com). 

Haskins, who was drafted by the team in 2019, was contrite and apologized for his actions. "I will learn from this mistake and do everything I can to help this team... I'll do everything in my power to make the most of my second chance," he said, per ESPN's Kimberly A. Martin. He added, "I shouldn't have put the team at risk." Six days later, Haskins took the field against the Carolina Panthers with the team's playoff hopes on the line. Washington fell 20-13, and Haskins was benched in the fourth quarter after "turning the ball over three times" (via ESPN).

Once seen as the future of the franchise, Haskins was released by the team the following day. "I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways," Washington coach Ron Rivera said (via CNN). "We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward." Haskins has two years remaining on his four-year, $14.4 million rookie deal (via Yahoo! Sports).

Tom Brady got called out for working out in a closed park

NFL legend Tom Brady hasn't written a whole book about proper dieting to maintain peak performance, but we guess the novel coronavirus doesn't figure into that equation. Before the start of the 2020 NFL season, Brady was making himself at home in Tampa Bay by working out in a public park that was closed due to the COVID-19. He was then cited and thrown out – and publicly called out by the mayor.

"Our parks are closed down, and so a lot of our parks staff, they patrol around just to make sure that people aren't taking part in contact sports or anything," Mayor Jane Castor said during a live Facebook video chat. "They saw an individual working out in one of our downtown parks, and she went over to tell him that it was closed, and it was Tom Brady."

The City of Tampa then tweeted at the multiple Super Bowl champion, basically telling him to stay home. "Sorry @TomBrady! Our @tampaparksrec team can't wait to welcome you and our entire community back with even bigger smiles — until then, stay safe and stay home as much as you can to help flatten the curve," their official account tweeted.

Kate Middleton and Prince William publicly broke pandemic guidelines

Despite the United Kingdom's pandemic guidelines that prohibit more than six people from gathering outdoors, Kate Middleton and Prince William (along with their three children) joined Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex (and their two children) were spotted walking the Luminate trail on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk (via The Daily Mail).

"They were clearly breaking Covid rules, in my opinion, because there were nine of them from two separate households. They were obviously all having a fun evening out. You could tell that the royal youngsters were having a great time," an anonymous source told the publication. "But I couldn't help thinking that it was one rule for them and another for the rest of us. It was really quite blatant."

Nine is clearly more than six, so you can see how people following the guidelines would be upset that the royals feel like the rules don't apply to them. However, sources close to the royal family said that it was a big oopsie. "The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public. They arrived and departed in their own family groups," the source explained. "As anyone with young children will know, there were moments on the 90-minute walk where it was difficult to keep the two family groups apart, particularly at bottlenecks on the trail." Sure.

Cardi B and Offset are doing way too much

Nobody is enjoying life more during the COVID-19 pandemic more than Offset and Cardi B. Maybe too much. "12kids [sic] and 25 adults over the holidays.It was lit !!" Cardi B tweeted over Thanksgiving. We're not entirely sure why she would tweet that unless she wanted backlash, and man, she got it. 

Replying to the now-deleted tweet calling her out for her actions, Cardi B responded, "Sorry my bad wasn't trying to make nobody feel bad.I just had my family in my home for the first time and it felt so good & uplifted me. I spent soo much money getting every1 tested but it felt worth it.I wasn't trying to offend no1." In a follow-up tweet, Cardi B stated that she and "everyone that works around me [get] tested literally 4 times a week."

Not even a month later, Offset and Cardi B faced backlash once again for throwing a huge, maskless bash for Offset's 29th birthday party in Atlanta. Offset's rep said in a press release that "COVID prevention measures included COVID testing prior to entry" (via ET). "I literally just saw a video Of Offset's party with a lady coughing right next to Cardi. Pahahaha! Yal [sic] are straight foolish..." one user tweeted. All in all, Cardi B and Offset threw four huge parties during the pandemic.