Who is it? Speculations are rife as WH press corps journo tests positive for coronavirus
The coronavirus alert was sent out to members of the press pool on Monday by WHCA president Jon Karl, who revealed only that the individual was at the White House four times in the past two weeks, perhaps in an effort to allow journalists who skipped those days to breathe a little easier.
Karl urged journalists to “review public health guidance, consult their medical professionals, and take the appropriate next steps.” Members of the pool were advised to stay home if they felt ill and to inform the group if they, too, tested positive for the virus.
White House Correspondents Association president @jonkarl emails members: "We have been informed that one of our colleagues has a suspected case of COVID-19. The individual was at the White House on March 9, 11, 16 and 18." pic.twitter.com/RbUDfDxKX7— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 23, 2020
Update: White House Correspondents Association has sent out a temporary seating chart for an expanded pool, effective immediately. "These steps have been taken in consultation with news outlets and the White House physician’s office." pic.twitter.com/R62BskbWUy— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 23, 2020
US President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that a corps member has fallen ill with the Covid-19, extending his "best wishes" to the coronavirus-stricken journalist during his daily briefing on Monday.
“I see we have fewer people because of the virus problem,” Trump said just after he took to the podium in the briefing room.Also on rt.com Rand Paul becomes first US senator to test POSITIVE for coronavirus
The WHCA followed up its initial letter with a revised seating chart implementing stricter “social distancing,” explaining that the layout had been drawn up “in consultation with news outlets and the White House physicians’ office.” Security measures in place since last week already require journalists to have their temperatures taken before entering the briefing room and to avoid large “press scrums” around lawmakers. While the Capitol is closed to visitors because of the coronavirus, media are still permitted, along with legislators and their staff, and no temperature checks are currently in effect.
Some on social media pointed out that Trump had just warned reporters days ago that they were sitting too close together and called to cut back on the number of journalists at briefings, fearing infection himself.
Others began to speculate on who the infected person might be – “that OANN is chinese food racist chick”? Jim Acosta?
Gotta be that OANN is chinese food racist chick 😂— DrStrangeLove (@DrStrangeLohv) March 23, 2020
Haven't seen Acosta in a while....hmmm— JOJO (@ginger_consult) March 23, 2020
Others suggested banning press from the White House and doing all briefings remotely, with some even calling the (presumably unwittingly) infected journalist’s presence an “attempted assassination” – though others pointed out Trump had been exposed to the coronavirus already, during a meeting with a Brazilian delegation weeks ago.
A BBC reporter didn’t help the general atmosphere of panic by announcing the headline and mispronouncing “corps” as “corpse.”
Shout out to the BBC News presenter who just announced the coronavirus case amongst the White House Press Corps by pronouncing it “corpse”— Rhodri Marsden (@rhodri) March 23, 2020
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