11:03 GMT11 May 2021
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    A coronavirus test is required to enter the White House as the pandemic continues to rage across the United States. Currently, daily briefings at the White House can only be attended by 14 journalists at one time, due to social distancing rules.

    The White House is expected to impose a new coronavirus-related policy of charging correspondents $170 for COVID tests, starting Monday, The Washington Post reported.

    The tests are required for everyone entering the White House, so, the outlet suggests, "the fees could add up to tens of thousands of dollars flowing from newsrooms".

    The White House, however, has reportedly agreed to continue to cover the costs of COVID testing for journalists who accompany the president, vice president, first lady and second gentleman.

    The new policy immediately saw backlash among reporters, with the White House Correspondents’ Association objecting to the proposal, referring to the burden it will place on news organisations, especially smaller ones.

    "It sets up a means test for White House coverage," a member of the Correspondents Association, who is said to be familiar with the suggestion, told The WaPo.

    Kaitlan Collins, a CNN White House correspondent, tweeted her denouncement of the proposition, saying that it is not "feasible".

    ​"If this goes into effect, it would effectively ban multiple entire outlets," Anders Hagstrom, WH correspondent for the Daily Caller, weighed in, along with Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast.

    ​According to The WaPo, neither WHCA nor White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented on the move.

    Currently, only 80 reporters are allowed in the White House complex at any given time: 40 indoors and 40 outdoors. Daily briefings can only be attended by 14 journalists at one time.


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    White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), correspondents, test, coronavirus, COVID-19, White House, US
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