Traveling with the President can be hectic for the press corps. Before you go on any international trip, there are a series of vaccines and medications you may need to get in preparation for that particular country’s health hazards. But it’s a different situation when you become the health hazard. That’s what happened to the traveling press pool, who closely follow President Obama wherever he goes, on Thursday in South Korea.
It all took place just before the press left their hotel for the Blue House (the Presidential compound) in Seoul, South Korea, where Mr. Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak held meetings and a press conference.
The press who attended these events was first made to get their temperature taken, in the event that they had some sort of fever, which could make the South Korean President sick. There was no indication that any of the press was in fact sick, but due to the high temperature of the van they had been traveling in, some in the press were concerned they wouldn’t pass muster.
So what did they do? Took off their jackets and stood outside in the frigid 37 degree Seoul air.
In the end, however, none of this mattered. The electronic thermometer the South Koreans were using apparently malfunctioned. Thinking it was a battery issue, a US sound technician offered up another. Still nothing.
The whole thing was then called off and the press was allowed to enter the building and do their jobs. One South Korean official jokingly concluded that the thermometer must have been made in China.