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CNN host Jake Tapper anchored his afternoon show earlier this month shortly after testing positive for the coronavirus, a decision that reportedly angered his staff.
The 53-year-old TV presenter had tested positive for COVID-19 at CNN’s office in Washington, D.C., on May 9, just before taping his 4 p.m. show “The Lead,” which, according to the media newsletter of the Daily Beast Confider, left staffers fuming.
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“This happened the same week the country was mourning the millionth death from COVID, which Jake covered on his show,” a staffer told the outlet.
CNN host Dana Bash filled Tapper’s anchor chair from the next day as he recovered from home. The next day, Tapper was on camera again, but from a home studio.
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Tapper, who has earned a reputation for lashing out online at reporters who criticize him or CNN, had the network’s public relations team work overtime to interfere with news outlets that inquired about the incident, Confider reported.
The network says Tapper followed company protocol, though he frustrated some staffers by continuing to work at the CNN office after testing positive for the virus.
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“Testing is voluntary to enter our offices,” a CNN spokesperson told Confider. “It is compulsory to enter the studios. He took the test shortly before his broadcast. When he was informed of the positive result, he asked CNN executives what to do, then followed him to the letter – he masked up and isolated, did the solo show in a flash studio (closed room for one person) and I went home immediately afterwards.”
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“Everyone on The head The team was notified during their pre-show call that day,” the spokesperson continued. “Jake had only been in direct contact with a few other people, who were also notified. “