Washington Post scraps White House correspondents’ dinner party amid COVID surge

The Washington Post has canceled plans to host a party before the White House correspondents’ dinner scheduled for later this month.

In a memo sent on Tuesday, Publisher Fred Ryan and executive editor Sally Buzbee said plans for the annual gathering had been scrapped due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the Washington, D.C., region.

“We had hoped to be emailing you an invitation to The Washington Post reception preceding the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 30,” the pair wrote. “As much as we would have loved to see everyone, in light of what appears to be an increase in Covid-19 transmission, we did not want to put our friends and colleagues at further risk.”

In lieu of the gathering, Ryan and Buzbee said, the Post will donate what it would have spent on the reception to Reporters Without Borders to support the work they’re doing for reporters covering the war in Ukraine.

A number of top politicians and Washington dignitaries have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the star-studded Gridiron Club dinner last weekend, fueling fears of another major spike locally.

The dinner itself is still scheduled to go on as planned, though over the weekend the WHCA announced that proof of vaccination would be required for entry to the April 30 event.