From athletes to celebrities, and even President George W. Bush, millions of people have posted videos of themselves and others doing the Ice Bucket Challenge. But now, there are some people being banned from accepting it.
Lawyers at the State Department have barred American ambassadors and other high-profile Foreign Service officers from participating. The Associated Press reports a message was sent to all US diplomatic missions this week. In it, lawyers detail that the Ice Bucket Challenge goes against federal ethics rules barring officials from using their public office for private gain “no matter how worthy the cause.”
The message said that public health and disease prevention are some of the State Department’s highest priorities. And it commended the ALS Association on the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and nearly $42 million dollars in donations. But, it also warned that questions about preferential treatment and favoritism can arise when people in high-profile positions participate.
One high-ranking diplomat took the Ice Bucket Challenge before this message was sent. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro participated and challenged US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. Power won’t be participating.
What do you think about these rules? Should public officials be banned from participating in charity events like the Ice Bucket Challenge?