Jim Acosta rebukes new White House policy on testing journalists for COVID-19

The White House has implemented new testing measures for members of the press corps seeking to attend the president’s press briefings — and CNN’s Jim Acosta is not happy about it.

According to the Washington Examiner, Acosta complained Thursday about a new White House policy requiring reporters to be tested for COVID-19 before attending briefings from President Donald Trump and his pandemic response team. The measure “doesn’t really sit very well,” the journalist told fellow CNN personality Wolf Blitzer, according to the Examiner.

“The White House is having all of the reporters covering this briefing today undergo a coronavirus test. I just had mine a short while ago,” Acosta said, according to the Examiner.

He added: “They gave me this fact sheet before giving me the test. We have not gotten the results back. And so, the briefing for this reason, I believe, has been pushed to 6 o’clock.”

Protecting the president

Acosta went on to tell Blitzer that “the fact that we’re getting a test doesn’t really sit very well when we know so many Americans out there who need a test, can’t get one.” However, the president is far from being out of line by asking those near him to be tested for the deadly disease.

Indeed, at age 73, President Trump is among those most at risk from contracting a severe case of COVID-19, a fate that has already befallen British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The 55-year-old British leader revealed in a tweet on March 26 that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease after having “developed mild symptoms.” He had to be hospitalized 10 days later and was placed in an intensive care unit. On Thursday, Fox News reported that the prime minister was well enough that intensive care was no longer required.

“We were very saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive care this afternoon, a little while ago,” Trump said when signs pointed to Johnson’s condition worsening, according to The Hill. “Americans are all praying for his recovery. He’s been a really good friend. He’s been really something very special: strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.”

Leadership amid chaos

Trump also revealed that he had spoken with pharmaceutical executives to see if their companies could furnish assistance to Johnson.

“They have arrived in London already,” the president said Monday, according to the Washington Examiner. “Their London office has whatever they need, and we will see if we can be of help.

“We have contacted all of Boris’s doctors, and we will see what is going to take place,” Trump added. “But they are ready to go. But, when you get brought into intensive care, that gets very, very serious with this particular disease.”

The world can only hope the British prime minister pulls through. In the meantime, with 1.6 million infected around the world and more than 100,000 dead from the coronavirus already, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, it’s hardly too much to ask journalists to do their part in protecting the president from facing a similar fate. Someone has to lead Americans through the coronavirus chaos, after all.

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