With the American death toll from COVID-19 inching closer to 220,000 a man in his 30s has tragically died at one of several unofficial Atlanta Pride parties.
The Xion party has since been slammed for failing to comply with COVIDsafe practices and inadequate health and emergency preparations.
The party, thrown by Keith Allen Young’s GA BOY EVENTS, took place on Sunday morning October 11 between 3am-7am with many witnesses claiming the event was ‘oversold, packed, and not air conditioned.’
Atlanta police later confirmed the unidentified man had lost consciousness and was pronounced dead 40 minutes later after fellow party goers attempted to revive him.
One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed to The Advocate that “there were no EMTs at the event, and that it took more than a half-hour for paramedics to arrive, and that staff seemed unprepared to handle anything of the sort.”
“It was a minimum of 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived, and I’m being generous. It was tragic,” the witness said. “I’ve been to parties all over the world, I have never been to one without EMTs. In my opinion, this could have been avoided.”
Speaking with local media the victim’s partner said he had taken ecstasy pills at the club during the event with police adding that “they found no signs of foul play or trauma during their investigation.”
Further details are still limited as the investigation continues. A spokesperson for the police said that what they know at this time is “preliminary and could change as the investigation progresses and new information comes to light.”
Following the man’s death, news of the party spread like wildfire across social media, with many quick to condemn the thoughtless and careless actions of both the promoters and party goers. With the Atlanta Pride organisation similarly quick to distanced itself from the privately held circuit parties, making it clear in a statement that all 2020 events were to be held virtually.
Among others who were quick to express their outrage at the string of parties popping up in Atlanta was openly gay winner of Big Brother season 15, Andy Herren who reposted footage on Twitter saying.
Taken last night at Atlanta Pride. And publicly posted to Instagram. In the middle of a pandemic. People can be so shitty and selfish. Please don’t be like these people. This is appallingly gross. pic.twitter.com/SDafZ0HXfC
— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) October 10, 2020
And while bars in Georgia are permitted to trade, organisers of temporary events that have over 50 people “must ensure that social distancing is maintained between groups of non-cohabiting persons.”
This news also comes after Atlanta gay club Heretic made headlines in June after a number of patrons tested to COVID-19, sparking organisers to suspend all events “out of an abundance of caution.”