President Biden hasn’t held a solo press conference 54 days into office.
The president addressed the nation last Thursday after signing the $1.9 trillion spending package and spoke about the country’s progress in defeating the coronavirus. However, he has gone more than seven weeks without holding a press conference, the longest for a president in nearly 100 years.
Every president since at least 1923 has held a press conference within 33 days of taking office, including Biden’s predecessors, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
The White House said last week that Biden would hold a press conference by the end of this month, adding that he takes questions from reporters every week in other settings.
“The president takes questions several times a week, which is an opportunity for the people covering the White House to ask him about whatever news is happening on any given day,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week.
The long stretch of not holding a solo press conference comes after Psaki told reporters in January that she was “bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room,” adding that “rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House every single day.”
The Washington Post editorial board published a piece last week titled, “It’s past time for Biden to hold a news conference,” condemning the silence from Biden.
“Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden. He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning,” the board wrote.
“Though Mr. Biden regularly answers a smattering of questions after making announcements or other events, Post media critic Erik Wemple points out that these often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions, 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,” the article continued.
Source: Washington Examiner: Biden has not held a solo press conference after 54 days in office, the longest a president has gone in 100 years