President Joe Biden, at his first formal press conference on Thursday announced he would double his vaccine goals to 200 million doses in his first 100 days. He also sought to defend his administration's overseeing of the border crisis. He also commented for the first time on whether he plan to run for reelection, and touched upon Senate procedures, including the filibuster.
Biden's 1st Press Conference of Presidency
The press conference was conducted 65 days into his presidency. This came after mounting pressure from journalists critics wondering why the president was taking so long to hold a briefing.
Biden referenced "cheat sheets," expounding on key policy points and the identities of attending journalists when he held his first formal press conference since being inducted into office. Photos taken at the significant event displayed the president holding a card labeled "infrastructure," with talking points and key statistics, reported Fox News.
While he has restored daily briefings by his press secretary and responded to questions in other formats, he is the first president in four decades to withheld holding a question-and-answer session with news media into his first term. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, "It's an opportunity for him to speak to the American people, obviously directly through the coverage, directly through all of you." She added she believes he is thinking about what he wants to say and convey, where he could provide updates, and anticipating the opportunity to interact with a free press, reported VOA.
Two of the topics the press and the president did not address at length were the COVID-19 variants and gun control. Gun control has taken on added significance in the course of two weeks after mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta.
The president claimed the current inundation of migrants at the United States southern border is not unprecedented. He stated nothing has changed. With numerous people coming, there was a 28% increase in the children on the border in his administration and a 31% in the last year in 2019 prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Trump administration. He added it transpires every single solitary year, reported CNN.
On Plans to Run for Reelection
Biden revealed he plans to seek another term in the White House in 2024. He stated he expects Vice President Kamala Harris would still be his running mate. He has not yet filed for reelection, whereas former President Trump had already done at this point of his presidency.
He commenced the press conference by a declaration that his initiative of inoculating 100 million people within 100 days of his tenure had been met 42 days ahead of schedule. He remarked the goal was met last week, by day 58. The new aim is to get 200 million people vaccinated by his 100th day of presidency.
On Competition With China
Biden underscored the current relationship was symbolic of a larger competition between autocracy and democracy. This is a dynamic Biden warned would define the 21st century. He also said he would soon invite an alliance of democracies to a summit to talk through the future.