White House forces reporters to ditch social distancing

By DAVID BAUDER
Posted 6/5/20

NEW YORK (AP) — The White House abandoned social distancing for reporters attending President Donald Trump's Rose Garden event Friday because “it looks better,” according to the aide who …

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

White House forces reporters to ditch social distancing

Posted

NEW YORK (AP) — The White House abandoned social distancing for reporters attending President Donald Trump's Rose Garden event Friday because “it looks better,” according to the aide who ordered it.

Seats for reporters at recent White House events had been placed 6 feet apart to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. But shortly before Friday's event, Trump aides moved the seats closer together so reporters were sitting shoulder-to-shoulder.

The decision “needlessly put reporters' health at risk,” said Jonathan Karl of ABC News, president of the White House Correspondents' Association.

“The health of the press corps should not be put in jeopardy because the White House wants reporters to be a prop for a ‘news conference’ where the president refused to answer any questions,” Karl said.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said it was his decision to move the seats closer together.

“It looks better,” Deere said. “I would remind you that those in the (press) pool are tested, everyone is temperature-checked and asked if they have had symptoms.”

Trump noticed when he was at the podium, and seemed happy about the new seating arrangement.

“I noticed you're starting to get much closer together,” the president said. “Looks much better, I must say.”

Watching the event on television made her angry, CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said later.

“This is outrageous,” she said. “Those chairs should have been far apart. There was no reason to put them together, except so that President Trump could telegraph a false message.”

Comments

X