President Joe Biden will hold the first official press conference of his presidency Thursday afternoon — a time-honored notion that will come later than in previous presidencies and look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden has held out on a press conference for longer than his 15 predecessors over the past 100 years — waiting until the 64th day of his presidency to take questions from reporters devoted to encompassing his every action.
In her briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was “thinking about what he wants to say, what he wants to convey, where he can provide updates and looking forward to the opportunity to engage with a free press.”
“Biden has picked the perfect time to meet the press. He has comfortably exceeded his campaign goal on vaccines, and that deserves the pomp and circumstance of a full White House press conference,” Lockhart wrote after the Biden administration delivered on its pledge to administer 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccinations within his first 100 days.
That declaration came on the heels of Biden directing every state to open vaccination eligibility for all U.S. adults by May 1, with the country anticipated to have the vaccines required to do so by the end of the same month.
The late date for the event is not the only change from previous administrations. As the country continues to contend with the coronavirus pandemic, the event will look different.
While previous press conferences saw rooms packed with the White House press corps, Biden’s Thursday will have only 30 reporters in the East Room of the White House. Though this will be the first official press conference for Biden as president, it’s not the first time he has faced the press.