ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl has tested positive for Covid-19, people familiar with the matter confirm, days after sitting next to Kim Kardashian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and interacting with President Joe Biden.
Karl received an award in the “Excellence in Presidential Coverage Under Deadline Pressure” category for broadcast while at the dinner. He appeared on the dais, received his prize, shook hands with several others there, including Biden, and subsequently spoke at the microphone. Karl was also pictured at a table sitting next to Kardashian and one spot over from her boyfriend, Pete Davidson.
“He tested positive for COVID Monday night, but tested negative on Saturday afternoon before the White House Correspondents Dinner by medically-supervised staff,” a person familiar with the matter said. “He had no symptoms on Saturday. Jon is currently isolating and participating in contract tracing.”
Those who went to the event were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative same-day Covid test. Anthony Fauci, the president’s top science adviser, had been scheduled to attend the dinner as an ABC guest as well but decided against going for fear of Covid spread.
There were widespread expectations that the correspondents’ dinner would worsen the spread of Covid as more than 2,500 attendees crammed into a massive hotel ballroom. “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, the evening’s comedic host, joked about the likelihood that many in attendance would contract Covid.
“It is my great honor to be speaking tonight at the nation’s most distinguished super-spreader event,” Noah said.
“Like, do you read any of your own newspapers? I mean, I expect this from Sean Hannity. But the rest of you? What are you doing here? You guys spent the last two years telling everyone the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large, indoor gatherings. Then the second someone offers you a free dinner, you all turn into Joe Rogan, huh?”