The White House Correspondents’ Association is planning for a return of its annual dinner in 2022, after Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the past two annual events.
The WHCA dinner, designed to raise money for scholarships, has long been one of D.C.’s highest profile gatherings of Beltway insiders, media personalities and public officials. But breaking with tradition, Donald Trump did not attend any of the annual dinners held during his presidency. There’s some expectation that President Joe Biden will attend, as he has signaled a return to tradition of other D.C. events, like a meeting with Kennedy Center honorees.
The dinner in 2022 is scheduled for April 30 at the Washington Hilton. The WHCA is requiring that all guests and dinner staff be vaccinated, according to a memo sent to members by WHCA president Steve Portnoy.
The last WHCA dinner on April 27, 2019 featured Ron Chernow as speaker, a break from past practice of featuring an entertainer. If Biden attends, the president traditionally does his own standup comedy routine to close out the evening.
In 2017, the first year of the dinner when Trump was in the White House, he declined to attend and instead held a rally that competed for attention. In contrast to some other D.C. social events, the WHCA dinner is televised on C-SPAN and other cable networks.