In The Know

White House correspondents dinner canceled for second year

The annual White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The WHCA disclosed the cancelation in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

“We have worked through any number of scenarios over the last several months, but to put it plainly: while improving rapidly, the COVID-19 landscape is just not at a place where we could make the necessary decisions to go ahead with such a large indoor event,” the association wrote.

The decision means that what would have been the first correspondents’ dinner of President Biden’s tenure as commander-in-chief will not take place in traditional fashion.

The event usually attracts hundreds of journalists and administration officials including the president, though former President Trump declined to attend the event and even instructed officials not to attend the gathering in 2019.

The move does not come as an extraordinary surprise. While millions of Americas have received coronavirus vaccines, COVID-19 cases remain high and public health experts continue to stress the need to socially distance, wear masks and avoid large crowds.

The annual dinner is typically held during the month of April but a date for the 2021 event had not been set. Last year, the event was postponed and, ultimately, cancelled over concerns about the virus. 

The correspondents’ association still plans to announce the recipients of annual awards for White House news coverage in the coming weeks and set the date for the next dinner for April 30, 2022. The association also plans to lay out plans to begin easing restrictions on journalists operating at the White House in the near future. 

“Dinner or not, we will spend the next few months celebrating and honoring the First Amendment, the remarkable journalism produced over the last year and the promising young reporters who will serve as the next generation in our ranks,” the association wrote in the email on Wednesday. 

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump Joe Biden Nerd Prom WHCA White House Correspondents Dinner White House Correspondents' Association
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