ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl said covering a Trump campaign rally during the coronavirus pandemic is akin to bringing your family to a war zone in Iraq.
Speaking with National Journal following Sunday night's rally for President Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Karl pointed to the fact that the campaign did not perform temperature checks on attendees, including the media, at the event.
Karl said the rally, which was moved inside at the last minute despite Nevada state regulations that banned such gatherings to help control the pandemic, was "the first time that everybody [in the media] stayed out except for the [White House press] pool."
"This is not like embedding with the Marines in Fallujah. It is like you are taking your family with you to Fallujah," added Karl, who recently finished his one-year term as president of the White House Correspondents' Association, or WHCA.
Current WHCA President Zeke Miller of The Associated Press told National Journal that he appreciated "the professionalism of the White House travel pool in a difficult and potentially hazardous situation Sunday evening" and said he would continue pressing the White House "for necessary health and safety precautions."
The Las Vegas rally was the first time the Trump campaign held an indoor event since the one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20. After that event, Oklahoma saw an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Karl told National Journal that the Trump White House was initially willing to work with the press corps to ensure reporters were socially distanced at news briefings and that their temperatures were taken before they entered the building. Those two preventative measures have since gone away, he said.
"I was just blown away by the fact that they weren't even taking temperature checks anymore," Karl said.
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