The White House confirmed Friday that President Joe Biden has been “too busy” with the pandemic to bother with giving press conferences so far.
“[T]his President came in during a historic crisis — two historic crises: a pandemic like the country had not seen in decades and decades and an economic downturn that left 10 million people out of work,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, after a reporter questioned when the president would be holding his first press conference.
“So, I think the American people would certainly understand if the president’s focus and his energy and attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines to vaccinate all Americans, which we will do by the end of May, and in pushing for a rescue plan that will provide direct checks to almost 160 million Americans. That’s where his time, energy has been,” Psaki continued. “In the meantime, he takes questions multiple times a week.”
Biden avoiding the press
Biden has not yet given a formal press conference or an address to Congress since he was elected — and it’s drawing increasing attention from the media.
According to the Washington Examiner, his “15 immediate predecessors” “all held press conferences within their first 33 days.” Former President Donald Trump gave his first press conference 28 days after taking office, according to Fox News. In comparison, Biden is now 45 days in to his term and still has not held a press conference.
In his absence, Psaki has been forced to bear the brunt of reporters’ questions about the Biden agenda, which has resulted in her quite often having to offer excuses and promise to “circle back” later after checking in with the president.
Trump’s former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany weighed in on Biden’s silence on Friday, noting: “Transparency is what he offered, and Joe Biden vowed transparency. Now he’s set a 100-year record for not going to the podium.”
Biden vs. Trump
Certainly, Biden’s reluctance to interact with the press is a far cry from Former President Donald Trump, who was usually quite willing to take questions even from an often hostile media.
Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany weighed in on Biden’s silence on Friday, noting: “Transparency is what he offered, and Joe Biden vowed transparency. Now he’s set a 100-year record for not going to the podium.”
But even Biden can’t stay hidden forever.
Psaki promised Friday that the president will give his first press conference “before the end of the month” — which gives him quite a bit of time to get ready. “[W]e’re working on setting a final date for that. And as soon as we do, we will let you all know,” Psaki told reporters on Friday.
We can’t wait…