WASHINGTON, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Governors of the National Press Club (NPC) voted unanimously Monday evening to suspend Club operations for a minimum of 14 days in an effort to mitigate the risks posed to the NPC community by the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. Included in the suspension of operations are the Fourth Estate and Reliable Source restaurants, the members-only gym, and the resource library.
The unprecedented move follows new guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calling for the cancellation or postponement of in-person social gatherings greater than 50 people throughout the United States for the next eight weeks, as events of this size can contribute to the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
During this period of suspended operations, the Club's full time staff will work from home, and will continue to meet by phone, email and videoconference with the Club's 3,000+ members to plan important programs and activities for later this year. Members are also encouraged to continue to engage with the NPC community via the Club's website, Facebook page, and on Twitter @PressClubDC.
Earlier this evening, National Press Club President Michael Freedman sent members a letter that discusses the Club's decision in more detail. After two weeks, the Board will reevaluate the situation and may vote to further extend the suspension of operations.
In his message, Freedman emphasized the critical role of the press in combating the coronavirus pandemic. "As our nation and the world grapple with a crisis of epic proportions, we turn to medical experts and elected officials for leadership – and we rely on the press to help inform and educate the public while holding those in power accountable for their words and actions through accurate and fair reporting. The coronavirus pandemic stands as Exhibit A in reminding the world why journalism matters. The National Press Club stands firmly with our colleagues around the world in pursuit of truth."
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the World's Leading Professional Organization for Journalists™. The Club hosts nearly 2,000 events per year in its 54,000 square foot facility located in downtown Washington just three blocks from the White House. It is well known for its signature luncheon speaker series, first launched in 1934 and enjoyed today by audiences across the country via live broadcasts on C-SPAN and the Club's YouTube Channel. The Club, along with its National Press Club Journalism Institute (501-c3), is a leading voice on behalf of press freedom and journalists worldwide who are unjustly detained.
Press Contact: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club, [email protected]; (202) 662-7561
SOURCE National Press Club