CNN anchor Jake Tapper reportedly recorded a show in person earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19, to the exasperation of some of his staffers.
Tapper tested positive on May 9 shortly before his show, The Lead, was set to air and remained in the building to finish his show solo in a flash studio, sources told the Daily Beast. CNN has defended his actions, arguing he adhered to company protocol.
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“When he was notified of the positive result, he asked CNN execs what to do and then followed it to the letter — he double-masked and isolated, did the show solo in a flash studio, and went home immediately after,” a spokesperson for CNN told the outlet.
Colleague Dana Bash filled in for Tapper the following day, a Tuesday, and Tapper was back on air from an apparent makeshift home studio by Wednesday of that week. But some of the staffers were frustrated that Tapper remained in CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau as long as he did following the diagnosis.
"This happened in the same week that the country was mourning the millionth death due to COVID, which Jake covered on his show,” a staffer said.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the network for comment. The network emphasized to the Daily Beast that it informed everyone on his team about the positive diagnosis.
“Everyone on The Lead team was notified during their pre-show call that day," the network said. "Jake had only been in direct contact with a few others, who were also notified.”
Tapper has been at the network since 2012 and has been known to push back against unfavorable media reporting on him. At times, he has criticized politicians and other media personalities, including his colleagues, for their mistakes.
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Tapper publicly criticized former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo for assisting his brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in crafting his response to sexual harassment allegations. Tapper has also reportedly been considered as a possible replacement for Chris Cuomo's 9 p.m. slot following his firing from the network.