After 48 days without a Biden press conference, White House reporters grow frustrated
President Joe Biden, who has been in office for 48 days, has yet to hold a formal press conference.
While Biden has taken questions from reporters, he has yet to schedule a formal new conference and White House reporters are becoming restless.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden will hold a press conference “before the end of the month,” but a Washington Post op-ed is calling for Biden to hold a press conference as soon as possible.
“Last month would have been better, and this week would be better than next,” the WaPo editorial board wrote on Sunday.
“Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden,” the editorial board warned. “He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”
Each of Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors – including former President Donald Trump – held a full news conference within their first 33 days in office.
Biden’s exchange of questions from reporters at the end of an event are no substitute for a formal press conference, WaPo media critic Erik Wemple said.
“These often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions,” Wemple said. “Answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined.”
Psaki said that the White House is working on finalizing a date for a full press conference.
“The president takes questions several times a week. He took questions actually twice yesterday,” Psaki said Monday. ‘’We look forward to holding a full press conference. We’re working on setting a final date for that and as soon as we do we will let you all know.”
“This president came in during a historic crisis,” Psaki added. “I think the American people understand that his focus energy and attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines… and pushing for an American rescue plan.”
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