April 20, 2020
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures with Pete Souza: Presidential Photos in a Health Crisis

Watch and listen as Pete Souza joins us for a special three-part edition in the shadow of COVID-19. We discuss four of Pete’s photos drawn from his tenure as Chief Official White House photographer for Barack Obama and official White House photographer for Ronald Reagan.

By Staff
About the Salon

Photo 1 and 2: President Obama mobilizing against the Ebola virus.

The first photo, taken October 24th, 2014, features Obama hugging Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office 13 days after she recovered from the Ebola virus. The second photo, taken five weeks later on December 2, 2014, highlights President Obama and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, touring the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Heath in Bethesda, Maryland. Both photos prominently feature Dr. Fauci.

Photo 3: Obama visiting the hospital

In this photo, taken October 10, 2011, President Obama walks into a hospital room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he presented a wounded warrior with a Purple Heart.

Photo 4: Reagan AIDS photo op

We discussed one of Pete’s contact sheets from President Reagan’s visit to the National Institute of Health. It was taken during the AIDS epidemic on July 23, 1987.

The Full Edit

Take a closer look at some of the images from our larger photo edit.

Photo: Pete Souza/White House

Caption: President Barack Obama visits with Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola after caring for an infected patient in Texas, in the Oval Office, Oct 24, 2014. Pham is virus-free following treatment at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Pham is accompanied by HHS Secretary Burwell, Pham’s mother Diana Pham, sister Catherine Pham, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Pham’s primary doctor Dr. Richard Davey, Jr., Dr. Cliff Lane of NIH and Dr. Ronny Jackson, White House Medical Unit.

Photo: Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama tours a lab at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Dec. 2, 2014. Dr. Nancy Sullivan, Senior Investigator, Chief Biodefense Research Section leads a tour of lab activities that led to the Ebola vaccine.

Photo by Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama visits wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Oct. 10, 2011.

Photo: Pete Souza/White House.

Contact sheet from President Reagan’s visit to the National Institute of Health. The appearance took place during the AIDS epidemic on July 23, 1987.

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Panelists

Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Communication Professor, University of Illinois. Author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression and Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs. Moderator, Reading the Pictures Salon.

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