White House to Charge Reporters for COVID Test, Sparks Outrage
TEHRAN (FNA)- The White House will reportedly begin charging reporters $170 for coronavirus tests upon entry into "The People’s House", first reported the Washington Post.
News organizations will now be required to foot the bill each time a reporter enters the White House – a policy that has prompted backlash on social media, and has been interpreted as an "admission fee" that could burden smaller, cash strapped news outlets.
The policy set to begin Monday, is a shift that could cost the news industry tens of thousands of dollars, on top of the costs they already incur when paying for reporters to travel with the president.
The White House did not respond to Fox News for comment on the changes, but officials reportedly cited the budget strains as the deciding factor in altering their COVID policy.
The White House Correspondents Association, which represents journalists working in the presidential press corp, has taken issue with the new fees, reported the Post.
"It sets up a means test for White House coverage," a member of the Correspondents Association reportedly said on the condition of anonymity.
Bigger networks can expect to rack up massive fees, as cameramen and reporters pile into the White House on a daily basis, and a crew of eight people would cost an outlet over $1,300 a day.
The White House Correspondents Association did not immediately respond to Fox News regarding the changes.
Reporters from news outlets big and small took to twitter to voice their frustration over the policy changes.
"Paying a fee to keep the American public informed during a pandemic. This is really a terrific look," wrote Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast.
"If this goes into effect, it would effectively ban multiple entire outlets," Anders Hagstrom, White House correspondent for the Daily Caller added.
"This isn't a feasible policy," CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins said.
News organizations have already been limited in the number of press they are allowed to send into the White House due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the White House’s latest decision could see that number shrink once again.