Journalists often scramble to get as close to the news as they can. That dynamic is creating challenges for some of the nation’s best-known TV-news outlets.
More TV-news operations are being affected by recent White House disclosures about President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus. ABC News staffers who came in contact with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when he served as an analyst for the first presidential debate earlier this week will have to quarantine for two weeks after Christie acknowledged Saturday that he had tested positive for coronavirus. The former Republican governor had helped President Trump prepare for the debate.
Governor Christie “was last in our TV3 studio on Tuesday, and he won’t appear in our studio again until he’s cleared by a doctor, following guidance from the CDC and local health officials,” ABC News said in a statement. “Anyone on our staff in direct contact with the Governor as defined by the CDC will self-isolate for 14 days. We wish the Governor a speedy recovery.”
ABC News did not immediately respond to a query about which staffers might be affected, but Christie appeared on an after-debate roundtable anchored by Linsey Davis and alongside three other analysts: former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel; Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson; and former George W. Bush campaign executive Sara Fagen. ABC News’ debate coverage was anchored by George Stephanopoulos, ABC News’ chief anchor, who was joined by Davis and David Muir, who anchors the network’s evening newscast, “World News Tonight.” It was not immediately clear which anchors were present in what studio, but Davis was clearly shown on TV hosting the roundtable while sitting in socially-distanced fashion from panelists. Emanuel has tweeted that he has tested negative.
ABC News is the latest of the nation’s TV journalism outlets forced to grapple with the outbreak of the contagion at the White House. Some of Fox News Channel’s best-known personnel are getting tested after they attended the first debate between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Cleveland earlier this week. Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” moderated the event, and some colleagues who were exposed to him or the debate environs – Sean Hannity, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are believed to be among them – are getting tests and taking precautions.
NBC News and MSNBC has also acknowledged that staffers who may have covered the recent debate or President Trump’s recent unveiling of a new Supreme Court nominee at the White House “are following contact tracing guidelines as set forth by the CDC and the NBCUniversal Medical team and some employees will be self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement from the NBCUniversal-owned media operations.