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White House Correspondents’ Association dinner postponed over coronavirus


The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner — considered Washington’s most noteworthy and headline-making annual social event — won’t happen in April due to the coronavirus.

“The White House Correspondents’ Association regrets to announce that it is unable to go ahead with its 2020 dinner on April 25. We will get back to you soon with our alternative date. Thanks for your support,” the organization announced on Sunday.

The journalist and lawmaker-filled dinner, which raises money for scholarships and dates back to 1921, had been poised to take place at the Washington Hilton hotel.

For weeks, as the full extent of the coronavirus was still developing, organizers of the fête told ITK that the dinner was still a go.

“We are monitoring developments, of course, but have made no changes as of now,” Jonathan Karl, WHCA president and ABC News’s chief White House correspondent, said earlier this month.

But as the days progressed, more and more large-scale events were nixed in the wake of the pandemic. The Gridiron Club dinner this month in Washington was scrapped, along with Austin, Texas’s famed South By Southwest music festival.

On Monday, the White House announced that its annual Easter Egg Roll, scheduled for mid-April, would not happen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art said that the annual Met Gala would be postponed indefinitely.

Concerts and conferences have been canceled and multiple major movie releases pushed back as some states imposed bans on large group gatherings in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The WHCA dinner — somewhat affectionately dubbed “Nerd Prom” inside the Beltway — is typically attended by thousands of VIPs and the president. Comedian Hasan Minhaj was tapped to headline this year’s festivities, with “Saturday Night Live’s” Kenan Thompson booked to serve as the dinner’s host.

President Trump — who has often battled with the press and repeatedly called the “fake news media” the “enemy of the people” — has never been a guest at the soiree while in office. 

Tags correspondent's dinner Donald Trump Nerd Prom WHCA White House Correspondents' Association

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