President Joe Biden will hold his first formal news conference since taking office on March 25, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Biden is behind his 15 most recent predecessors, who all held a solo news conference within 33 days of taking office, according to a CNN analysis of the past 100 years.
The White House has defended Biden not holding a formal news conference yet and said his focus has been on securing enough Covid-19 vaccines for every American and passing his $1.9 trillion rescue package through Congress.
“I think the American people would certainly understand if his focus and his energy and his attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines to vaccinate all Americans, which we will do by the end of May, and then pushing for a rescue plan that will provide direct checks to almost 160 million Americans,” Psaki said during a White House briefing earlier this month.
“That’s where his time, energy, his focus has been. But in the meantime, he takes questions multiple times a week and looks forward to continuing to do that,” she added at the time.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Sunday that Biden has answered about 40 questions from reporters at events.
“This is a President, when, you know, he’s doing an event and reporters shout questions at him, he answers them,” Jean-Pierre told MSNBC on Sunday. She added Biden “believes in communicating with the American people” and “making sure that he’s talking to reporters as well.”
Biden's First 100 Days
The announcement comes as the White House launches a cross-country tour to promote Biden’s Covid-19 relief package, which the President signed into law last week. The “Help is Here” road show includes travel by the first lady, vice president, second gentleman and Cabinet members.
Biden will likely face questions at the news conference about a number of pressing issues, including a surge of migrant children at the border, the implementation of his Covid-19 relief package, the efforts of the Biden administration to vaccinate all Americans and facilitate returning kids to classrooms.
That surge of migrant children arriving at the southern border is overwhelming border facilities and has officials scrambling to accommodate them. As of Sunday, there were more than 4,200 children in US Border Patrol custody.
Biden said Tuesday that he does not have immediate plans to visit the border. Senior administration officials recently visited border facilities.
The President also recently announced Gene Sperling, a former top economic official in the last two Democratic presidential administrations, will serve as the coordinator overseeing the implementation and ensuring all aspects of the sweeping relief law are put into place as designed.
Some Americans are already seeing the latest round of stimulus payments hit their bank accounts.
The Biden administration has been ramping up the distribution and administration of Covid-19 vaccines across the country, with a focus on reaching communities that are at highest-risk and hardest-hit.
Biden has said that the United States would have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May, and that he would direct states to allow all adults to be eligible to receive the vaccines by May 1.
The US has administered more than 110.7 million Covid-19 doses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden has also promised to try to open schools within his first 100 days of office. Because of the pandemic, many kids have been out of school since the pandemic hit the US and the issue has become a national flashpoint.