CBS President and CEO George Cheeks tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the company confirmed Friday. Cheeks was seated next to President Biden at thelast Saturday, but Mr. Biden has since tested negative for the virus.
Cheeks, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is feeling fine and working from home, the company said.
Cheeks, who oversees CBS News, Sports, Entertainment and CBS Studios, followed all screening protocols and tested negative before the dinner, the company said. He tested negative on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the dinner before testing positive on Thursday.
The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner returned last weekend after being sidelined by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Mr. Biden was the first president in six years to accept an invitation to the event, which this year featured comedian Trevor Noah.
The annual dinner is the main source of revenue for the White House Correspondents’ Association, which comprises hundreds of print, broadcast, digital and radio journalists. This year, the association’s president is CBS News’ Steven Portnoy.
The association instituted multiple COVID protocols for the dinner, requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated and present a same-day negative antigen test. Nevertheless, multiple journalists who attended have since tested positive,Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
When discussing Blinken’s positive test on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr. Biden is tested regularly, and had tested negative on Tuesday.
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, applauded the safety protocols that were planned for the event, butafter making a personal assessment about the risk.