Why, I wondered last week, are we still having press conferences, when countless small businesses were shut down on the off chance that someone might breathe on someone else.
The White House Correspondents Association had asked its members to sit one seat apart at press briefings, but at a time when most businesses have been shut down even when they offer far more space to customers and employees, the sight of crowded press briefings is still surreally hypocritical.
The short answer is that the media has been deemed “essential” even though it’s as essential as a three-legged chicken that spreads coronavirus.
The latest WHCA spat should be enough.
There’s no reason for President Trump and other national task force leaders to be endangering their health at press conferences in the cramped press theater that used to be the swimming pool.
There’s no reason press conferences can’t be held via video. Other countries are doing it. The US should too.
The White House press corps can use Zoom like the rest of the country. Or not Zoom perhaps, because it seems to be Chinese spyware, but videoconferencing software, that can allow for plenty of participants. Livestream it, limit participants from those media organizations willing to stream it live, and move on.
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