Joe Biden was set to take questions from Democrat members of the House on Wednesday, when the White House inexplicably cut the feed of the live event.
Biden, 78, is yet to hold a formal press conference since taking office six weeks ago, on January 20.
He has answered questions from reporters, but in a limited fashion – frustrating his critics who are demanding that he be more forthcoming.
On Wednesday, he participated in a gathering of House Democrats, held virtually due to the pandemic.
Joe Biden addressed a virtual meeting of House Democrats on Wednesday night
Biden, 78, spoke for much of the 15-minute session, but was cut off at the very end
Introduced by Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, Biden spoke about the COVID-19 relief bill, which is currently being fought over in Congress.
He explained why it was so essential, and urged Democrats to make the case to their constituents.
‘I’m happy to take questions, if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance,’ he says.
‘Whatever you want me to do.’
The feed then cuts off.
Biden is facing mounting calls to hold a full press conference.
On Tuesday night Kayleigh McEnany, Donald Trump’s press secretary from April 2020 until his departure, pointed out that both Trump and Barack Obama had met the press at this point in their presidencies.
Obama held one 20 days after he was inaugurated and Trump took questions 27 days in.
Biden was introduced at the event by Speaker Pelosi, who he affectionately called ‘Nance’
At one point Biden was seen giggling during the virtual event, held with House Democrats
McEnany attacked Joe Biden and called on him to hold a press conference
‘My question is: where’s Joe?’ she asked, on Fox News.
‘It’s been 41 days – at this point, President Trump had multiple press appearances, press conferences – President Barack Obama had as well.
‘Joe Biden needs to step up. We need to hear from him. He needs to engage in the transparency that he promised us: he has not thus far.’
Kevin Liptak, CNN White House reporter, wrote to his colleagues on Wednesday: ‘As we await word on when President Biden will hold his first solo press conference, an analysis of the past 100 years shows he is behind his 15 most recent predecessors, who all held a solo press conference within 33 days of taking office.’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday he will hold a press conference soon
Thursday will be Biden’s 43rd day in office.
‘While he has taken questions from reporters on a few occasions, including during sprays and a more formal Q&A session following an event in January, he has not held a formal press conference,’ Liptak noted.
‘That includes both a solo press conference or a 2+2 news conference during his two virtual ‘bilateral’ meetings with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.’
Dan Gainor, a conservative commentator, wrote on FoxNews.com: ‘He’s like the opposite of the Energizer Bunny. He hides out. It’s his leftist policies that keep on going.’
He added: ‘It would be easy to make a joke about the president being in his dotage here.
‘Only this is the anti-Trump strategy that got Biden into the White House. Don’t tweet. Don’t say controversial things. Don’t be seen as doing much in public at all.’
Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on Wednesday: ‘We look forward to holding a full formal press conference, but in the meantime the President takes questions from the reporters covering the White House regularly, including this morning.
‘And his focus day in and day out is on getting the pandemic under control and putting people back to work. That’s what people elected him to do.’