Around the world, life as we know it has been upended by an invisible enemy. We have been flung from our beds, and from our jobs and our weekly activities as well, as we socially distance ourselves in order to starve our enemy.
In many ways, this is a time of war. And, in a time of war you need to keep an eye out for spies and saboteurs, some of whom may be unwitting participants in their own espionage.
That’s why the White House will now require all journalists who work on the property to be screened for fevers.
The White House will conduct coronavirus tests on all journalists slated to attend Thursday’s coronavirus task force briefing as a precautionary measure, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced.
“This is happening today in light of the news yesterday that a member of the White House press corps who was at the White House on Tuesday is experienc[ing] symptoms consistent with coronavirus,” said the organization’s President Jonathan Karl, who emailed later to say that the journalist had tested negative for the virus but would self-isolate and take another test in a week out of an abundance of caution.
The organization, along with the White House, have been incrementally stepping up security protocols as the outbreak has continued its swift spread throughout the country. Last month, the WHCA began to crack down on social distancing, issuing temporary restrictions on the number of journalists allowed in the briefing room each day, and even going as far as to expel one news organization for breaching those rules.
While the mortality rate for this particular strain of coronavirus is not terribly high, the virus spread extremely quickly and stealthily, and can infect those who come in contact with even asymptomatic carriers.
Every little bit that we can do will help to stop the spread of the illness.