White House Press Panics Over Omicron, Limits Seats

White House Press Panics Over Omicron, Limits Seats

White House Press Panics Over Omicron, Limits Seats

First we had teachers unions threatening (and it sounds like some were successful) to not come back after Christmas vacation because of the Omicron variant. Now, the White House press corps is apparently joining the panic.

Late Sunday evening, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) voted to “temporarily” reduce the number of press in the briefing room each day. Why? OMICRON.

The board of the WHCA voted unanimously to return to the reduced seating arrangement that was in place from last summer until earlier this year, with 14 seats out of the 49 in the room being used, association president Steve Portnoy announced in an email to the organization’s members.”

“Given the virulence of the spread, medical experts have once again advised that it would be prudent to substantially reduce the number of people working in the cramped, poorly ventilated workspace that we share,” Portnoy said.”

The WHCA intends to revisit the seating arrangement later in the month, depending on case rates.”

So, we went through the entire Delta variant wave in the United States without reducing the number of reporters in the White House daily briefing, but NOW it’s too dangerous for them to be packed in there with Jen Psaki (who never wears a face mask and has exposed them all to COVID herself in the recent past)? Omicron, as we have said repeatedly, is highly contagious, but all the available data from South Africa and the United Kingdom is proving that deaths are not following. And this is a GOOD thing. If we have to have a new variant that can infect the vaccinated with ease, it is a GOOD thing that it is turning out to be nothing more severe than a bad cold, not getting into the lungs, and not causing a corresponding wave of deaths, AND possibly providing protection against other variants.

However, that’s not giving the White House reporters any measure of comfort. Notice how Portnoy (who is also the CBS White House correspondent) goes on to describe their reasoning.

“A primary objective is ensuring we are able to hold the administration accountable to the public, while preventing an outbreak that might limit our ability to cover the president in close quarters,” Portnoy said.”

The WHCA has for weeks been urging reporters working out of the White House to take a rapid COVID-19 test if possible before coming to the building, and to wear a high-quality mask like an N95.”

Portnoy is all but saying “THE PRESS MUST PROTECT BIDEN” in this statement. These reporters that come to the White House are likely already vaccinated due to the rules their own employers have laid down. Omicron is making an end-run around the vaccines, and everyone knows it. That is why Democrats are backing off the cries of “SHAME, SHAME” when new cases are popping up among the “good” Democrats. Within the last 24 hours, both Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Squad member in good standing, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have announced that they have tested positive for COVID. Is the WHCA really so arrogant or so fearful to think that THEY ALONE can control Omicron getting into the White House?

Now on to the second part of the problem. Take a look at this seating chart.

So, the AP, Reuters, and Bloomberg each get a permanent seat. Everyone else is on a rotation. Hmmm, who is the one reporter that Jen Psaki would like to NOT have in the room every day…. oh yes, that would be Peter Doocy from Fox News. How many times do you want to bet that Doocy doesn’t get to come inside to ask questions over the next few weeks?

COVID cases are skyrocketing thanks to the high viral transmissibility of Omicron, and the White House press corps just MAGICALLY voted to limit themselves from asking Jen Psaki (why isn’t she wearing a mask, again?) too many hard questions about how Joe Biden lied about stopping COVID in the middle of a nationwide wave.

Convenient, huh?

Featured image: Jen Psaki in the White House Press Room, February 1, 2021, Official White House Photo by Chandler West, cropped, government work in the public domain

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