On Sunday I spoke with five people on the ground in Nevada and another five who are involved in news coverage decision-making back at HQ. The takeaway: Trump’s defiance of Covid safety guidelines is forcing news outlets to make tough decisions about how to make staffers safe. Sources told me that all the major networks, from CNN to ABC to Fox News, decided not to send their crews and correspondents into the Trump event due to Covid-19 concerns. Correspondents like CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reported from an open-air location, which experts say is much safer than a confined space where lots of people are sharing the air.
Some local TV crews still went inside. And members of the White House press pool still attended the event, so that all the other outlets were provided with video, photos and raw material. There are usually 13 people in the so-called “pool,” representing wires, print, radio, TV, and photography.
“There is definitely some anxiety in the pool,” one of the sources told me ahead of time, since the event was fully indoors, with seats close together and no serious attempts at Covid containment. There are “temp checks but that is meaningless,” the source said. “Masks recommended but not required.”
>> Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement that Trump was taking “reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.”