With photographers focused on their every move, Karl sat next to Kim Kardashian at the event, as she and Pete Davidson were guests of the network. Karl also shook hands with President Joe Biden when he came up to the dais to receive a WHCA award for excellence in presidential coverage under deadline pressure.
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Karl tested negative on Saturday before the dinner, as all attendees were required to do, along with showing a proof of vaccination. But he tested positive on Monday night, according to a source familiar with the circumstances. “Jon is currently isolating and participating in contract tracing,” the source said.
At the dinner, some 2,600 people packed into the Washington Hilton ballroom, but many also mingled at numerous cocktail parties and receptions before and after the event. Almost everyone was maskless. Anthony Fauci was to be a guest of ABC News as well, but he decided against attending, although he went to an annual Garden Brunch earlier in the day that was mostly outside.
The next several days will be telling to see how many others have tested positive for Covid. Earlier in April, a Gridiron Club dinner turned into a super spreader event, with more than 70 people contracting Covid in the aftermath, including Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. But that event required only proof of vaccination, not a same-day negative test.
Karl was president of the WHCA from 2019-2020, when he served as ABC News’ chief White House correspondent. Politico first reported on his positive test.
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