Tapper tested positive for the virus while at CNN’s D.C. bureau on May 9 just before his 4 p.m. show but refused to leave the studio. He insisted on filming his show as normal, according to two people familiar with the situation.
“This happened in the same week that the country was mourning the millionth death due to COVID, which Jake covered on his show,” one staffer said.
However, a CNN spokesperson insisted that Tapper was overly cautious in the studio after testing positive.
“Testing is voluntary to enter our offices. It is mandatory to enter the studios. He tested shortly before his show,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“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 (single-person enclosed room) and went home immediately after.
“Everyone on The Lead team was notified during their pre-show call that day. Jake had only been in direct contact with a few others, who were also notified,” the spokesperson added.
Tapper was subbed in by Dana Bash the following day, but returned to the show the next day from his home studio.