President Joe Biden has faced mounting backlash for his reluctance to hold a solo press event after more than a month in office.
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, however, the president will conduct the first official news conference of his term by the end of March.
“Before the end of the month”
“We look forward to holding a full press conference in the coming weeks, before the end of the month,” she said.
Psaki offered the update during Friday’s White House press conference, going on to provide some excuses for Biden’s decision to become the first president in a century to fail to hold a press conference within the first 33 days of his inauguration.
While the administration is “working on setting a final date” for the event, she said that “this president came in during a historic crisis, a pandemic like the country had not seen in decades and decades and an economic downturn that left tens of millions of people out of work.”
The top Biden spokesperson added that she believes “the American people would certainly understand if his focus and his energy and his attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines for all Americans … and then pushing for a rescue plan.”
Of course, Biden attracted criticism for avoiding tough questions from the media during the presidential election season, too.
“How do you justify that?”
In contrast, former President Donald Trump, who was continuously attacked and demonized by many in the mainstream media, nevertheless gave frequent press conferences and fielded countless questions throughout his term in the White House.
For her part, Psaki argued that Biden actually has been accessible to the press during his first weeks in office, noting that he had taken dozens of questions during scripted statements and televised meetings with other officials
“The president takes questions several times a week,” she declared. “He took questions twice yesterday, which is an opportunity for people covering the White House to ask him about whatever news is happening on a given day.”
Considering the fact that Biden’s live feed was cut during an online discussion this week shortly after he mentioned that he would be taking questions, there remains plenty of speculation about the president’s cognitive abilities and fitness to hold the office. Fox News Channel contributor Joe Concha noted that Biden vowed in January to address Congress the following month, adding that he would like to see the president answer questions on a range of issues related to his agenda.
“How do you justify that?” he asked. “I would be curious to see how the president answers those questions. I have a feeling we will not see that happen anytime soon because I don’t think there is the confidence there that he can do it.”