EXCLUSIVE: CBS boss George Cheeks is the latest high profile attendee of last Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner to test positive for Covid-19.
After testing negative every day following the April 30 Beltway shindig, the President and CEO, CBS pulled the short straw yesterday afternoon, I hear. Having said that, the fully vaccinated Cheeks is feeling fine and has been conducting business all day via Zoom from his NYC home, according to a CBS spokesperson.
Seated on the dais at the first WHCD since 2019, Cheeks was right next to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and current White House Correspondents Association chief and CBS News’ Steven Portnoy. When President Joe Biden arrived an hour or so into the event, Cheeks greeted POTUS and shook hands with him, as well as marquee MC Trevor Noah. – as you can figure out from the photo to the right.
Subsequently, just before Biden delivered his remarks and right after the commander in chief had spoken, Cheeks sat next to the President as the Daily Show host roasted the power player filled room.
Trevor Noah’s WHCD Routine Takes Swipe At Will Smith’s Oscar Slap, Name-Checks Joe Rogan, Resurrects Fox News’ Roger Ailes & Mocks Paramount+
Like everyone of the around 2,600 who were at the dinner in the Washington Hilton ballroom, Cheeks strictly followed all required screening protocols and testing negative before the so-called Nerd Prom dinner. During the hoopla surrounding the WHCD, Cheeks was seen at the UTA party before the dinner wearing a mask. At the Paramount Global party in DC after the WHCD, Cheeks was not wearing a mask, I’m told. But the fact is, almost everyone who went to the WHCD went maskless after the big event itself.
As recently as Thursday, the President tested negative for the persistent virus, the White House told Deadline today. Biden’s interactions with Cheeks and proximity to the CBS CEO do not meet the CDC guidelines for determining if an individual was in close contact for Covid.
Having said that, Cheeks does join the growing list of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Voice of America’s Steve Herman, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and others from the likes of Politico, NBC, and CBS who have tested positive after attending the WHCD. It should be noted that while he was out and about over the weekend at some of the parties, the President’s chief science advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci declined to attend the 2022 WHCD because of concerns about Covid infections.