WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner next week when the black-tie gala makes its return for the first time in two years.
The White House confirmed Wednesday that the president and first lady Jill Biden will be on hand for the dinner, an annual tradition that was canceled the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The soirée, set for April 30 at the Washington Hilton, is a scholarship dinner hosted by the White House Correspondents’ Association and is attended by journalists, politicians and other Washington movers and shakers. This year’s dinner will be a celebration of the First Amendment and will feature entertainment by comedian Trevor Noah.
Guests will be required to demonstrate proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID and show a same-day negative test to attend.
Biden’s attendance will mark the return of another tradition of sorts: The sitting president and first lady traditionally have attended the dinner. But Donald Trump, who famously feuded with the press, skipped the dinner during the three years it was held while he was in office.
The last appearance by a sitting president was in 2016, when Barack Obama attended during his final year in office.
The correspondents’ dinner comes amid a recent spike in COVID cases across the country and just three weeks after another gala, the white-tie Gridiron Club dinner, raised anxiety when a number of attendees later reported positive COVID test results. Guests at the Gridiron gala were required to show proof of vaccination but did not have to show a negative COVID test.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.