White House Correspondents Association adds vaccine requirement to attend annual dinner
The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) has announced it will those who plan to attend its annual dinner next month to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an emailed statement on Sunday, the WCHA board asked attendees to show proof of their vaccination through the Bindle app, also suggesting that attendees get their fourth vaccine shot by April 30, when the dinner will be held.
Attendees are also required to show a negative COVID-19 antigen test from the day of the event.
“The board’s policy is aimed at preventing anyone who is known to be infectious (as indicated by a positive result on a rapid antigen test) from spreading the virus at the dinner,” WHCA said in a statement.
“But nothing we implement to protect the ballroom can reach the many social events other organizers throw around our dinner. Bear that in mind.”
The warning comes as numerous politicians and officials have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The WCHA noted there will be risks in “everything we’ll do over the next few weeks,” adding, “Each of us should judge our respective risk thresholds before engaging in any of these activities.”
“We are lucky to live in a time and in a country in which vaccines, tests and treatments are widely available,” it said. “Those tools make it possible for us to decide what’s best for each of us.”
Schiff was among dozens who tested positive for the virus after attending the Gridiron Club dinner earlier this month.
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have fallen in the past months after the omicron variant fueled an increase in cases and deaths earlier this year.