As Coronavirus Invades West Wing, White House Reporters Face Heightened Risks – The New York Times
October 5, 2020
Visitors to the White House will notice a makeshift sign taped to the door of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, entry point for the reportorial corps that regularly covers President Trump and his administration. “Masks Required Beyond This Point,” it reads. “Please wear masks over both your nose and mouth at all times.”
The sign was not put up by the White House. The correspondents had to do it themselves.
Throughout a pandemic that has now landed squarely in the West Wing, Trump officials — who routinely shunned masks — declined to institute thorough safety protocols to protect the White House press corps, according to interviews with reporters who now face the prospect of a rapidly escalating outbreak in their daily work space.
“The only place on the White House grounds where a mask has been required is the White House press area, and the only people who have routinely violated that rule have been White House staff,” Jonathan Karl, ABC’s chief White House correspondent, said in an interview.
Reporters who traveled with Mr. Trump over the past week learned that Hope Hicks, his adviser, had tested positive only after reading press reports on Thursday. Many had traveled near Ms. Hicks, and had spent time with family and friends in the days since.