Biden to Hold First Solo Press Conference on 64th Day in Office

March 17, 2021 Updated: March 17, 2021

President Joe Biden will hold his first solo press conference on March 18, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced March 16.

The announcement follows mounting pressure and calls for Biden to hold a traditional open news conference, and comes more than 50 days into his presidency—the longest stretch of any president over the past century.

Biden’s press briefing will be held on his 64th day in office.

By contrast, his 15 predecessors held solo press briefings within the first 33 days of their respective presidencies. Former President Donald Trump took questions after 27 days in office, while former President Barack Obama held a formal press conference 20 days into his first term.

The president, since being sworn in over two months ago, has held a number of “short question-and-answer” sessions with reporters, however, his answers on a wide range of issues have so far been brief.

Epoch Times Photo
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 15, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Psaki noted last week that Biden “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,” she told reporters.

She also defended the president, saying that he is currently focused “day in and day out on getting the pandemic under control and putting people back to work.”

Before Psaki’s announcement, Biden had come under an increasing media spotlight for his delay in holding a press briefing. The president gave his first prime-time address on March 11, but took no questions afterward.

Brett Bruen, White House director of global engagement under Obama, suggested earlier this month that Biden’s lack of interaction with the media may be “counterproductive.”

“He talks about the role of journalists as being a critical one, and yet access to a president is really the barometer by which we judge the importance that a president assigns to the media,” Bruen said.

The president’s approach so far may be “counterproductive to the kind of connection that both the White House needs with journalists as well as the president needs with the people,” he said.

“Where’s Joe?” asked Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s former press secretary, during an appearance on Fox News. “Joe Biden needs to step up. We need to hear from him. He needs to engage in the transparency that he promised us.”

It’s not yet clear how many reporters will be allowed to attend the president’s first briefing.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.