- The Washington Times
Friday, January 14, 2022

President Biden will hold a rare, formal press conference next week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

Ms. Psaki did not offer any details about the press conference, beyond that it is scheduled for late afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr. Biden last held a solo White House press conference in March 2021, but has held a few with foreign leaders during overseas trips.

Mr. Biden has conducted fewer news conferences than any of his five predecessors during the same point in their tenures, according to data released last week by Towson University.

In the past year, Mr. Biden has done 22 interviews with the media and held nine formal news conferences — six solo and three with visiting foreign leaders — the Towson analysis found.

Only Ronald Reagan held fewer press conferences, but the Towson analysis said his schedule was scaled back after he was wounded during an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr., just two months after he was sworn in as president.

Former President Donald Trump held 22 formal press conferences during his first year and 92 press interviews, while former President Barack Obama conducted 27 formal press conferences and 156 interviews.

Meanwhile, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton held 19 and 38 press conferences, respectively, according to Towson.

On Thursday, reporters’ frustrations boiled over with Mr. Biden’s refusal to answer their questions after he delivered a 10-minute address on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Biden ignored reporters’ shouted questions. After one member of the media asked him why vaccinated Americans must restrict their activities, Mr. Biden shot back, “Folks, we’ll talk about that later, come on.”

Another journalist then shouted, “Maybe a press conference soon, Mr. President? We’d look forward to that.”

“Me too,” Mr. Biden fired back with a grin.

The White House has pushed back on claims that Mr. Biden is inaccessible to the media. His team says he has taken questions after events and while traveling. However, he also has ignored questions from reporters during those events.

The White House has limited press briefings to 14 reporters because of omicron. It is not known if more reporters will be allowed in the briefing room Wednesday to ask the president questions.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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