The White House Correspondents’ Association canceled its plans for its annual dinner, which had been planned for late August.
“We still hope to have a virtual event later this summer. But an in-person dinner simply is not possible,” Jon Karl, president of the WHCA, wrote on Twitter.
The dinner – typically the highest profile of all D.C. gatherings of media and political figures and Washington insiders – already had been postponed once, from April 25 to Aug. 29. But even as states and cities reopen parts of their economics, large gatherings remain restricted. The event typically packs thousands into the ballroom of the Washington Hilton.
“We’ve been working hard to reconfigure the dinner in ways to make it safe for guests and staff,” Karl wrote to WHCA members. “But after consultation with medical experts, government authorities and our own members, we’ve concluded that it is just not possible to put on the kind of dinner that promotes the best in journalism and allows our guests to comfortably and safely enjoy themselves.”
He said that a virtual event would honor winners of its annual awards.
Karl also said that they would welcome contributions, given that the dinner is their primary source of revenue each year.
The event was to feature Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj, keeping with a tradition of featuring comic performers. The dinner highlight of the dinner used to be schtick from the president, but Donald Trump has declined to attend the dinner since he has been in office