Reporters watch President Trump in the Rose Garden on June 5. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ABC News' Jonathan Karl, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, said Friday that the White House "needlessly put reporters' health at risk" by moving chairs closer together for President Trump's Rose Garden event in violation of the CDC's social-distancing guidelines.

What he's saying: "The health of the press corps should not be put in jeopardy because the White House wants reporters to be a prop for a 'news conference' where the president refused to answer any questions," Karl told CNN's Brian Stelter.

  • Karl placed "news conference" in quotes because though it was billed as such by the White House press office, Trump did not take any questions from reporters during the 53-minute event.
  • "The chairs were initially positioned in a way that was consistent with social distancing guidelines but were moved closer together by White House staff shortly before the event started," Karl added.

The other side ... White House spokesperson Judd Deere told Axios that moving the chairs was his decision: "It looks better. I would remind you that those in the pool are tested, everyone is temperature checked, and asked if they have had symptoms."

Go deeper ... Study: Government-enforced coronavirus social distancing works

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Trump health appointees reportedly interfered with CDC COVID-19 reports

Former Trump campaign official Michael Caputo arrives at the Hart Senate Office building. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump-appointed health department aides interfered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly COVID-19 reports “in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals,” Politico’s Dan Diamond reported late on Friday.

What it says: "[E]mails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump's optimistic messages,” reports Diamond, citing emails reviewed by Politico and three people familiar with the matter.

Sep 13, 2020 - World

Dozens arrested during lockdown protests in Melbourne, Australia

Lockdown protesters marching from the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Dozens of lockdown protesters in Melbourne, Australia, were arrested after facing off with riot police for a second straight day on Sunday, per Nine News.

The big picture: The Victorian state capital has been under a nightly curfew since Aug. 5 amid surging coronavirus cases. From midnight Sunday, the curfew was being cut by an hour to 9pm–5am. Victoria's states of emergency and disaster were extended until at least Oct. 11, as state officials confirmed Sunday 41 new cases and seven more deaths from COVID-19. All other states and territories have reported single-digit or zero cases for weeks.

Go deeper: Australia plunges into first recession in 30 years

Sep 12, 2020 - Science

A place without COVID-19

A "safe little bubble" exists that's isolated from coronavirus — where people mingle without masks, ski, socialize and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away, AP reports.

The state of play: That place is Antarctica, the only continent without COVID-19. As COVID-19 has shaken diplomatic ties around the world, the 30 countries that comprise the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs decided to keep the virus out. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don't bring the virus.