The White House Correspondents’ Association has officially cancelled its annual dinner for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to members on Wednesday, the WHCA said that “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.”
Plans are to hold an in-person event on April 30, 2022.
The decision is not a surprise, as it was clear that continued Covid restrictions would prevent such a large gathering at its typical time, late April. The organization still plans to announce its annual awards, which are typically part of the annual dinner.
The last WHCA dinner was on April 27, 2019 at the Washington Hilton. Last year’s dinner was at first delayed and then canceled due to the pandemic.
Then-President Donald Trump did not attend any of the dinners during his presidency, breaking with a long tradition, as he routinely attacked the press and, at times, called them the “enemy of the American people.” There has been some expectation that Joe Biden will restore the tradition and attend, along with a return of a heavy turnout of celebrities due to the change in administrations.