The Nerd Prom is Saturday, and this time the Top Nerd will be there.
The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner in Washington, D.C., draws some 2,500 elite politicians and journalists for a black-tie dinner and some comedy. The event has long leaned far-left, which is why former President Donald Trump never attended during his four years in office.
But President Joe Biden, even at 79, is ready to party.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday confirmed that Biden will be attending the dinner at the Washington Hilton, where former President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981.
“He has made the decision that he wants to attend, in a safe way, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to show his support, showcase his support for a free press,” Psaki said.
As is often the case, Psaki couldn’t help but take a jab at Trump.
“That does stand in stark contrast to his predecessor, who not only questioned the legitimacy of the press on a nearly daily basis, but also never attended the dinner, I don’t believe,” the press secretary added. “So he felt that was important and made a risk assessment to do that in consultation with his doctors and healthcare team.”
Psaki said Biden will possibly wear a mask and won’t be there while everyone is eating. “And we also took steps, including the fact that he’s not attending for the eating portion of the dinner,” Psaki said. “And he’ll be there for the program, which includes a number of speakers, the presentation of scholarships, as you know, and of course his speaking and his roasting – where he will be on the menu, as he likes to say – [Daily Show host] Trevor Noah is speaking.”
Meanwhile, top U.S. immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci decided not to attend the Saturday night event over COVID-19 concerns. Fauci attended the April 2 Gridiron Dinner, which turned out to be a superspreader event, with around 80 of the 600 attendees catching the virus.
Among the top officials to contract the virus were Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and several lawmakers.
And Democrats are putting in place policies on masks, testing, and vaccine cards. The WHCA dinner is going a step further than the Gridiron Club — which required only that guests show a vaccine card — by requiring attendees take a COVID-19 test 24 hours before the dinner and show a negative result. All guests must also be vaccinated or have a doctor’s excuse.
Biden on Wednesday also attended the packed funeral at the National Cathedral of the late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and is scheduled to travel to Minnesota on Sunday for the funeral of former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Vice President Kamala Harris is not likely to attend the WHCA dinner, having announced earlier this week that she has COVID-19.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.