Associated Press journalist Seung Min Kim is being criticized for reporting how President Joe Biden did not follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance after he tested positive for COVID-19.
“When we saw Biden this week after he tested negative, he did not wear a mask around others as CDC says he should. WH says he was sufficiently distanced from others but CDC guidance says nothing about distance when requiring recently-positive people to mask for a few days,” Kim tweeted.
The CDC says that people who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask “for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public” for ten days.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was far enough away from other people to not wear his mask, even though he tested positive for COVID days after he was cleared.
Producer Susan Bordson called Kim’s tweet “an example of trolling” and “[n]ot serious reporting.” She went as far as saying AP should “reconsider” Kim as a reporter for taking “[c]heap jabs” at the former president.
However, when Donald Trump was in office, Bordson criticized the then-president for not wearing a mask. “No one has done more damage in terms of discouraging mask wearing than President Trump,” she tweeted in 2020.
Many other users joined in on attacking Kim’s credibility as a reporter.
“A lot of what you post seems to be critical of or hostile toward the people you cover. Makes me question your objectivity and adherence to journalistic ethics. There’s a line between reporting problems and instigating problems,” one user replied.
Others focused on criticizing the former president for not masking up.
Former California Democratic congressional candidate Joaquín Beltrán responded to Kim: “It was really upsetting to see this when it happened. Hopefully [Treasury Secretary Janet] Yellen did not get infected.”
Epidemiologist Elizabeth Jacobs said: “Every person responsible for letting this happen should be fired.”