New White House Briefing Room Protocols Completely Wrong

Mandel Ngan / Getty Images And then there were 14. The White House Correspondents Association announced earlier this week that 14 wil...


    Limited number of reporters in the WH press conference room on January 4

Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

And then there were 14.

The White House Correspondents Association announced earlier this week that 14 will be the number of seats available in the James S. Brady press conference room amid a spike in coronavirus cases driven by the variant. Omicron.

Policies are arbitrary and disconnected.

In an email sent Sunday night to members of the White House press, the president of the WHCA and CBS News correspondent at the White House Steven portnoy said (underline his):

We remain in a wave of COVID-19 that seems far from reaching its climax. In fact, experts believe that Omicron’s current push won’t dissipate across much of the country for about a month. We have every reason to believe case rates will continue to rise in the greater Washington area – and in our press – after the holiday rallies.

Given the virulence of the spread, medical experts have again indicated that it would be prudent to drastically reduce the number of people working in the cramped, poorly ventilated workspace we share.

Acting on this advice, your board met in an emergency session this evening and unanimously approved a motion to temporarily return the briefing room to 14 places, as shown in the accompanying diagrams.

Beyond the seat restrictions mentioned above, we continue to urge members to enter the White House only on the basis of the missions expressly entrusted to them by their managers. Us now wait that anyone who enters the White House will take it upon themselves to secure a covid test previously. We continue to urge the use of N95 or KN95 masks to comply with our interior masking requirement.

For one thing, as of December 21, at least 97% of White House reporters are vaccinated and boosted, according to a survey of WHCA members (and I was told the number has increased since then because there was of WHCA members who were boosted but were not not part of the investigation). Although the risk of contracting Omicron appears to be higher for those vaccinated than previous variants, vaccination still offers great protection against hospitalization. the the new variant is softer: Fewer people are hospitalized because of it, and for those who have symptoms, these symptoms are milder.

No vaccine is foolproof. There is always the possibility of experiencing unwanted results despite taking proper precautions. The coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, and the draconian measures are unsustainable.

Speaking of measurements, the seating arrangement doesn’t allow for much social distancing, as you can see in the table and photo of the room below.

WH press conference room plan in the middle of Omicron

WH Empty Press Room

Win McNamee / Getty Images

For those vaccinated who experience a breakthrough, symptoms are something that looks like the flu. Members of the White House press who are going through this can and should not just walk into the briefing room and isolate themselves. No need to close chairs in the room in an attempt at Covid Security Theater. In addition, most people are tired of remote work. A poll showed 87 percent Americans ready to return to the office in person.

Still, some White House press reporters objected to the crowded briefing room as Omicron quickly spread to the United States in December.

Indeed, the WHCA announcement came after journalists called White House press secretary Jen psaki in December to make virtual press briefings within Omicron. Psaki resisted the idea.

“We don’t think it sends the right message to the country or the world to shut down the briefing room or suspend in-person briefings,” she said. Recount The Washington Post in a report.

While people should be smart amid the coronavirus – which appears to be endemic for the foreseeable future and should be viewed through a symptom-based lens as opposed to case scare – thanks to the vaccine and boosters, they can live their life. White House reporters are no exception. Instead of waiting until January 21 to review the decision, as mentioned in Portnoy’s post, the new restrictions should be removed and the White House should have full press briefings with a virtual option available for those who do not want or cannot attend.

Students return to school in person. The workers are already working in person. Why should White House reporters be any different when it comes to showing up to the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to ask questions that should be in the best interests of the American public?

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone.



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Newsrust - US Top News: New White House Briefing Room Protocols Completely Wrong
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