Even though the incoming administration promised more “transparency” in the office, it has been nearly 50 days and President Joe Biden has not held a solo press conference yet. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has brushed off multiple questions regarding his absence with the press and noted that he’s just “too busy with historic crises” to answer any questions. This is the longest stretch of any president over the last 100 years.
“He’s answered questions. I believe that count is almost 40 times. And I would say that his focus, again, is on getting recovery and relief to the American people and he looks forward to continuing to engage with all of you and to members of the — other members of the media who aren’t here today, and we’ll look forward to letting you know as soon as the press conference is set,” Psaki said.
In the past, former President George W. Bush held a press conference 34 days into office, only 21 days for former President Obama, and 28 days for former President Trump. While Biden has issued dozens of executive orders and signed the second-largest stimulus package in U.S history, he has yet to answer any questions on his actions.
President Biden appeared to hold a virtual event with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus last week, in which he solely spoke to lawmakers about COVID-19 relief and the ongoing vaccine rollout. He ended the segment by saying he would be happy to take questions from the lawmakers before the White House feed was cut without explanation. He has also taken a handful of questions before boarding the presidential aircraft on coronavirus and other matters but has yet to face the press alone.
CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak was one of the first to notice the President’s absence, telling colleagues that he is “behind his 15 most recent predecessors, who all held a solo press conference within 33 days of taking office.” He pointed out that Biden has taken a handful of questions from reporters on a few occasions, but has not held a full formal press conference.
In a recent incident where Biden was visiting W.S Jenks & Son, a hardware store in the nation’s capital, press reporters began shouting a series of questions at Biden before handlers began yelling back “Come, on, press, you gotta go,” and quickly removed reporters from the scene. One reporter even yelled out a question regarding the immigration crisis at the southern border, in which Biden, who was standing about 15 feet from the press, did not flinch or answer a single question.
I’ve never seen someone more confused… And this is the guy who has the nuclear codes.
But you know what’s scarier than an unresponsive commander-in-chief? A President Kamala Harris.