Biden will take extra precautions at White House Correspondents’ Dinner as Covid Concern Grows 2022-04-27 16:01:56

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden will skip the meal portion of the event, choosing to wear a mask when he is not speaking. In recent weeks, the president has mostly been revealed at crowded White House events, but those events have had less attendance than Saturday’s dinner, which is expected to feature more than 2,000 people.

The annual Black Tie Dinner – hosted by comedian Trevor Noah – returns Saturday afterwards Two-year gapAnd Biden’s attendance marks the first time a sitting president has attended the event with members of the press since 2016. Concerns have grown that it could become a Washington supercompany after The annual Gridiron dinner weeks ago, After that, dozens of attendees tested positive. The White House Correspondents Association is taking health precautions that dinner hasn’t, including requirements for Covid testing for attendees.

Psaki said the president’s decision to attend the major indoor event in Washington — where cases are now flat after a spike after the wave of Omicron’s shifting wave receded — was “a risk assessment and a decision I made on a personal basis.” This decision was made in consultation with his doctors and health care team.

“He didn’t show up for the eating portion of dinner and would be there to attend the program, which includes a number of speakers, give scholarships…speak it, roast it,” Psaki said Wednesday.

In recent days, the White House has faced additional questions about whether Biden should attend the event, especially after Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. She was the latest member of Washington’s elite to be tested positive for Covid after a string of lawmakers and other prominent political figures contracted the virus.

CNN reported on Tuesday evening That Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor, no longer attends Saturday dinner. Sources familiar with the matter said Fauci had been invited to come as a guest on ABC News and was planning to go ahead. The sources said he abandoned those plans this week due to an individual assessment of his personal risks.

Fauci said on Wednesday that the country has reached a “different phase of the epidemic,” describing it as a “transitional phase, and hopefully moving towards more control where you can actually return to some form of normalcy without a complete disruption of society, economically, socially.” school level, etc.

“Each of us has to, in our own way, make an assessment of the risks you are willing to accept about infection,” Fauci told CNN. “Overall, the risk is low, but I did a subjective evaluation. I’m 81 and if I get infected, I have a much higher risk.”

Psaki suggested that Biden felt it was important to attend the dinner to show his support for a free press, adding that it stands “in stark contrast to his predecessor, who not only questioned the legitimacy of the press on an almost daily basis but never attended dinner.”

CNN’s Brenda Goodman, Oliver Darcy, and Caitlan Collins contributed to this report.

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