White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha brought smiles to official Washington’s face on Sunday when he said that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner should go ahead as planned this month, despite the local rise in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking to “Fox News Sunday” Jha said, “We are at a point in this pandemic, Mike, where I think we can gather safely. That’s the key point.” He continued, “I don’t think events like that need to be canceled. I think if people put in good safeguards, they can make it substantially safer, make sure people are vaccinated, make sure you have testing, and improve ventilation.”
“These are the strategies we have learned over the last two years, and if we implement them, do I think it’s safe for people to gather together indoors? Absolutely.” The White House Correspondents’ Association is set to host its annual dinner on April 30, the first time it has been held since the pandemic.
White House Correspondents’ Association President Steven Portnoy, of CBS News Radio, affirmed earlier this month that the dinner would be proceeding, with a mandate that guests show a negative COVID-19 test from within 24 hours of the event.
“We are going to, as a baseline level, require every one of the 2,620 ticket holders at our event to demonstrate on Saturday, April 30, that they have tested negative on a same-day rapid test,” Portnoy told The Hill. “We’re taking it upon ourselves as an association to apply this requirement.”
Exactly how is the President being protected from the virus? The short answer is colored wrist bands. According to Politico Playbook, if you’re a White House staffer or a reporter who’s going to be close to the President, Vice President, or their subsequent spouses, you must first obtain a negative result on a Covid test. That result will get you a one-day wristband that signifies you’re clear to breathe in the oxygen of the Executive Branch.
One technician who handles the Covid testing at the White House told Playbook that they recently added more wristband colors to the rotation. Apparently, fashion-forward staffers were getting frustrated with the lack of variety within color options.
The tech continued, adding that they’ve had press and staffers alike trying to get the gossip on what color the bands will be ahead of time, so appropriate outfits can be coordinated. Who said politicos can’t be stylish?!