President Joe Biden will host his first White House press conference nine weeks after he first assumed office, press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Tuesday.
Biden’s formal interaction with the press is scheduled for March 25, more than two months after his inauguration on Jan. 20. While the president has briefly interacted with reporters in passing since the beginning of his term, Biden delayed official discussions with the press far longer than at least 15 of his most recent predecessors such as former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
Even in brief interactions, however, Biden’s speech is littered with gaffes and incoherent mumblings such as forgetting his Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s name. “I want to thank the former general,” Biden began. “I keep calling him general, but my … the guy who runs that outfit over there.”
It is still unclear when Biden plans to address Congress about his agenda and the state of the nation. While most U.S. presidents formally address the legislative body shortly after they assume office, White House officials such as Psaki and Chief of Staff Ron Klain claimed Biden was too busy trying to push his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending bill to bother speaking to a joint session.
“I think we wanted to get through this rescue plan first and get it done and get it passed. And we will go to the country and take a few weeks to explain the plan,” Klain claimed. “I think shortly after that you will see him work with the Congress on a joint address that is appropriate for COVID and all of these other times we are living in.”
“There is not — it is not a snubbing happening here. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and of course, any joint session speech would look different than the past,” Psaki confirmed. “We certainly intend on the president delivering a joint session speech, not a State of the Union, in the first year that they are in office.”