WASHINGTON, April 30 – U.S. President Joe Biden will resume the Washington tradition of speaking at a White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday night, the first president to speak at an annual event since 2016.
After a two-year suspension due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the sacking of Donald Trump during his presidency, the event returns this year with enthusiasm, featuring comedian Trevor Noah.
More than 20 WHCA-related parties are being played in Washington before and after the big event on Saturday night and senior management officials will be attending along with dozens of celebrities from around the world.
However, the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Washington, particularly the outbreak of a Gridiron white dinner dinner in early April, brought a warning to the White House dinner.
Organizers require that everyone who attends the event be tested for the virus, and other senior officials, including infectious disease specialist Dr Antony Fauci, are out.
The White House has said Biden will take extra security measures at the event – skipping part of the dinner and only attending the platform, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. She may choose to wear a mask when she is not speaking.
Asked what Biden would say to the crowd, Psaki said: “I will lower my expectations and say it is not funny at all.”
In recent weeks, the president has been heavily exposed at busy White House events, but those events had a small crowd attending Saturday dinner, which is expected to seat about 2,600 journalists, Washington officials and celebrities.
The White House Correspondents Association was founded in 1914 and has hosted a dinner almost every year since the first in 1921 to celebrate journalists reporting on the presidency and to raise scholarships.