Trevor Noah joked about the event turning into a superspreader, and now the cases are pouring in. The annual White House Correspondents Dinner, as well as the festivities held in the days preceding and following it, have resulted in the unavoidable spread of Covid.
Reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico, and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus in the days following WHCD weekend. Most notably, ABC’s Jon Karl, who shook hands with President Biden and sat next to Kim Kardashian, has tested positive.
There is no precise numbers yet to indicate how many people were infected with the virus over the weekend, but the numbers are quickly adding up, and the debate over whether they caught the virus at the event or had it prior to the event has begun.
According to the WHCA, they worked hard to publicize their protocols and encourage those who were eligible to receive booster shots. Their event adhered to protocols that exceeded any CDC or DC health department guidance or regulation. And wish everyone who isn’t feeling well a speedy recovery. Jon Karl also went above and beyond by taking a medically certified proctored test, which the White House believes is a measure of infectiousness. Implying, he was most likely not contagious at the time. But, a “medically certified proctored test” is just a fancy way of saying someone else watched you just take a rapid antigen test on Zoom.
In the coming days, there will almost certainly be stories that draw parallels between the WHCD and the Gridiron. The two events, however, have a significant difference: Gridiron is a one-time event, whereas the WHCD is preceded and followed by dozens of parties hosted by news organizations and talent agencies. To put it another way, determining the exact location of Covid’s spread will be difficult, if not impossible.
Was it the dinner that prompted the need for same-day testing and vaccination? Or was it at one of the get-togethers? Keep in mind that the WHCA had no control over the external events. Some of the organizations that hosted them exercised strict Covid precautions, while others did not. And there were numerous occasions when people were crammed into small, confined spaces with little ventilation.
We will keep track of this as the days continue.