Trevor Noah joked about the event becoming a superspreader — and now the cases are rolling in. The annual White House Correspondents Dinner, along with the festivities held in the days before and after it, have led to the inevitable spread of Covid.
They are, of course, trying to spin the bad news that their vanity and sense of entitlement was not really to blame:
I talked on Tuesday afternoon with White House Correspondents Association President Steven Portnoy. Portnoy told me this: “We worked hard to publicize our protocols and encouraged those eligible to get booster shots in the weeks leading up to the dinner. Our event implemented protocols that went beyond any guidance or regulation issued by the CDC or the DC health department. We wish anyone who may not be feeling well a speedy recovery.”
But of course…
In the days ahead, there will probably be stories that draw comparisons between the WHCD and Gridiron. But there is a key difference between the two events: Gridiron is a singular event, whereas the WHCD is bookended by dozens of parties held by news orgs and talent agencies. In other words, it will be difficult —impossible? — to identify specifically where the spread of Covid actually occurred.
…and splitting hairs:
Was it at the dinner, which required same-day testing and vaccination? Or was it at one or more of the parties? Remember, the WHCA had no oversight over the outside events. Some of the orgs that hosted them implemented strict Covid precautions, others did not. And there were many events in which people were tightly packed into small, confined areas with little ventilation…
But the bottom line is that Dr. Fauci was right and got the last laugh when he said that though he was invited, he was not going.