President Joe Biden speaks in the Cross Room of the White House on Feb. 22, 2021, the day the death toll from the Chinese Communist virus (Wuhan pneumonia) topped 500,000 across the United States. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
According to the Washington Post, the Biden Administration has received backlash from media outlets large and small who are upset about being asked to pay the government or up to tens of thousands of dollars for their work. The White House Correspondents’ Association also took issue with the new rates, with one member of the association saying on condition of anonymity: The move by the White House has created a financial test for reporters covering White House news.
A small news organization with a White House correspondent who pays $170 per test would pay $850 a week; $3,400 a month; and up to $40,800 a year.
These testing fees are also expected to place a heavy burden on large news organizations, such as some television outlets, as cameramen and reporters pile into the White House daily, and an eight-person crew would cost more than $1,300 per day, Fox reported.
Meanwhile, reporters from various news organizations have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the policy change.
Max Tani of The Daily Beast’s Washington correspondent said, “I think it would be prohibitively expensive for small media outlets to go to the White House on a tight budget (if they want to) ‘show the public the truth and transparency of the White House briefing room.’ “
Anders Hagstrom, the Daily Caller’s White House correspondent, said, “If this goes into effect, it will effectively ban multiple outlets [from reporting on White House news].”
CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, on the other hand, briefly noted, “It’s not a viable policy.”
Currently, news organizations are already limited in the number of reporters allowed into the White House due to the outbreak. But the latest decision by the White House could shrink that number again.
According to reports, news organizations have long paid a lot of money to cover White House news events. For example, the White House charges reporters extra when they fly with the president on Air Force One, and reporters also have to pay extra for temporary office space and meals.
The White House did not respond to the media’s criticism. White House officials have previously said that “budget constraints” were a decisive factor in changing the White House’s Epidemic policy, and that the White House could no longer afford to pay for these tests because they were too expensive.