News outlets are declining to send pool reporters to travel with Trump, after his COVID-19 diagnosis, to protect their health

  • News organizations are declining to send pool reporters back on the campaign trail with President Donald Trump, who recently had COVID-19, to protect their health, The New York Times reported Monday.
  • White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement from Trump's doctor, which announced that the president tested negative for COVID-19, but it failed to provide the dates of the tests.
  • The same day, Trump hosted his first campaign rally since testing positive earlier this month in Florida, where he falsely boasted immunity from the disease. Trump announced he tested positive early on October 2.
  • "At least three White House correspondents have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two weeks, including a Times reporter who had traveled on Air Force One, Michael D. Shear," according to The Times.
  • News outlets like The Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post did not send journalists to cover the event as a precaution.
  • "White House reporters had safety concerns and were not comfortable traveling with the president at this time," Elisabeth Bumiller, Washington bureau chief at The Times, said in a statement, according to the report.
  • In addition to Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and others in the White House tested positive for COVID-19 — at least 34 people in the White House tested positive as of last week.
  • Photos showed those in Trump's inner circle not wearing masks or taking other mitigation precautions for the coronavirus. Masks and social distancing have also not been enforced at Trump campaign rallies.
  • A spokesperson for The Post told The Times that the paper will "continue to evaluate our coverage plans."
  • Zeke Miller, a reporter for the Associated Press and president of White House Correspondents Association, addressed health concerns in a memo to members last week, The Times reported.
  • "While we know no situation is 100 percent safe in a pandemic, it is our expectation that the pool will not be put in an unduly risky position," Miller wrote, citing The Times report.
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