Of Course Sarah Palin Took Her Unvaccinated Ass Inside A NYC Restaurant

White Nonsense
Of Course Sarah Palin Took Her Unvaccinated Ass Inside A NYC Restaurant

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, vice presidential candidate, and furry performer, has tested positive for COVID-19. She is defiantly unvaccinated, declaring last month she’d get the shot over “her dead body,” so this is a somewhat predictable outcome that’s slightly complicated her libel case against the New York Times.

Palin’s COVID-19 diagnosis (her second) has also complicated matters for the Italian restaurant Elio’s, located on 84th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. According to the Times, the Upper East Side spot regularly draws celebrities. I used to live on 93rd and Second (well, almost 15 years ago) so I have some affection for the place. There’s some uproar now because Palin dined indoors at Elio’s Saturday night. Imagine if that was your celebrity sighting for the night! She’s not in the same league with Paul McCartney and Alan Alda.

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This shouldn't have happened because New York City requires that all indoor diners show proof of vaccination. Otherwise, they have to take it outside. It was barely above freezing Saturday night. Sarah Palin has no experience with that kind of frigid weather.


Palin was contagious and in an enclosed space with patrons who reasonably believed the person at the table across from them, slurping up spaghetti alla puttanesca, is vaccinated.

From the Times:

“We just made a mistake,” said Luca Guaitolini, a manager for the restaurant, who was not working Saturday night but confirmed Ms. Palin’s visit. In an interview on Monday, he said that the restaurant checked vaccination cards for all first-time customers but not for regulars who come each week, and that Ms. Palin had dined with a longtime guest, whom he declined to name.

“She probably just walked in and strolled over” to the table, Mr. Guaitolini said. “We are trying to get to the bottom of this.”

It’s not a given that the employee checking vaccination cards would recognize Palin, unless they're an aficionado of "Baby Got Back" covers. However, Palin’s companion would’ve likely known her public stance against vaccines. That would’ve restricted their dining and options while Palin was in town for her nuisance suit, but it’s also the law, which Palin is not above. They should’ve just gotten a crappy slice to go like when Donald Trump showed Palin the town in 2011.

This obviously has larger public health implications than simply letting an underage celebrity into a bar. Elio’s has to contact diners to inform them they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, and the staff has to get tested.



Shawn McCreesh, a features writer at New York magazine, tweeted Saturday that he’d spotted Palin while dining at Elio’s. His mother apparently thought she was Tina Fey. That’s an understandable mistake given the setting, although I don’t think Palin has remotely resembled Fey for a while now.

CNBC’s Brian Schwartz also confirmed that he wasn’t asked for proof of vaccination when he ate there on a previous night. He tweeted: "This seems to be a theme at the famed restaurant. I went there the other night (not when Palin was there). Not too crowded & we noticed they did not check our vaccine status.(We're vaccinated) Spotted at the time: @BlueBloods_CBS star Tom Selleck."

I don’t blame the frontline workers, who probably aren’t going to send away regulars. This is a management issue, and although there are fines for not enforcing the vaccine mandate, they are cigar-lighting money compared to what some of the regulars might tip over the course of a year.

Nonetheless, people who dine indoors at a New York City restaurants have the expectation that everyone inside is vaccinated. Every effort should be made to honor that trust. It’s not surprising, though, that a less-than-honorable Sarah Palin would have openly violated the rules.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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