- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The White House Correspondents’ Association announced Wednesday that it will forego holding its annual dinner in 2021 for the second year in a row due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Normally held in late April or early May, the WHCA said it was unable to put on the event this year because of concerns related to COVID-19, the contagious respiratory disease the coronavirus causes. 

“We have worked through any number of scenarios over the last several months, but to put it plainly: while improving rapidly, the COVID-19 landscape is just not at a place where we could make the necessary decisions to go ahead with such a large indoor event,” the WHCA said in a statement. 

Journalism awards usually given out during the annual dinner will be announced shortly, the WHCA said in the statement. 

“Dinner or not, we will spend the next few months celebrating and honoring the First Amendment, the remarkable journalism produced over the last year and the promising young reporters who will serve as the next generation in our ranks,” the statement said. 

The annual WHCA dinner typically attracts hundreds of attendees, including members of the White House press corps, entertainers and administration officials, including the president, among others. 

Former President Trump never attended the event while in office, however. 

Originally scheduled for April 25, 2020, last year’s WHCA dinner was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic before ultimately being canceled altogether. 

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, and public health officials recommend that people refrain from gathering in large groups indoors where it can easily spread. 

The WHCA said it plans to hold next year’s dinner, in person, on April 30, 2022. 

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