For the second straight year, the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner has been canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement Wednesday, the leadership of the White House Correspondents’ Association wrote that they “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.”
Instead, the WHCA “will spend the next few months celebrating and honoring the First Amendment, the remarkable journalism produced over the last year and the promising young reporters who will serve as the next generation in our ranks,” including presenting the awards and scholarships it normally gives out at the annual dinner.
The dinner, which D.C. insiders jokingly refer to as “Nerd Prom,” has traditionally been one of the most star-studded affairs in Washington, with celebrities and power players packing the ballroom at the Washington Hilton to hear the president of the United States roast the press, and a celebrity host roast the president.
President Trump broke from tradition by declining to attend for the first three years of his presidency. Last year’s dinner, which was slated to be hosted by Saturday Night Live‘s Kenan Thompson, was officially canceled in June, after being pushed back from its annual April perch.