Journalists from half a dozen news outlets have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner, including ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who dined with Kim Kardashian and shook hands with President Joe Biden, according to new reports.

The dinner, held Saturday at the Washington Hilton and attended by 2,500 politicos, journalists, and celebrities, did not require attendees to wear masks.

“In the days since WHCD weekend, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico, and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus,” CNN reported.

“[M]uch of Tuesday afternoon seemed to consist of attendees trading text messages and emails about colleagues and friends and people they had seen who had tested positive. That’s almost certainly going to continue in the days ahead,” CNN’s senior media reporter Oliver Darcy wrote.

Darcy spoke with WHCA President Steven Portnoy, who he quoted as saying: “We worked hard to publicize our protocols and encouraged those eligible to get booster shots in the weeks leading up to the dinner. Our event implemented protocols that went beyond any guidance or regulation issued by the CDC or the DC health department. We wish anyone who may not be feeling well a speedy recovery.”

CNN also noted that “While Karl did shake Biden’s hand at the dinner, to have gone on-stage at the event he would have had to have taken a medically certified proctored test that the White House uses because it believes it to be a measure of infectiousness, a source told me.”

Karl was on stage to receive the “Excellence in Presidential Coverage Under Deadline Pressure” award.  “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,” Politico reported.

“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 told Politico. “He had no symptoms on Saturday. Jon is currently isolating and participating in contract tracing.”

Before the dinner, it was widely speculated that COVID-19 would be on the menu. “It is my great honor to be speaking tonight at the nation’s most distinguished super-spreader event,” comedian Trevor Noah said at the dinner.

The WHCA event followed another superspreader, the Gridiron dinner. More than 80 attendees eventually tested positive for COVID-19.

Among those were two members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet: Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “Other attendees, including Vice President Kamala Harris’ communication director Jamal Simmons and Democratic Reps. Joaquin Castro and Adam Schiff … have also announced positive tests,” CNN reported.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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