White House Cuts Video Feed Immediately After Biden Offers to Take Questions


UPDATE, Mar. 16, 2021: The Associated Press issued a fact check regarding various “posts online” describing this incident. “[C]omments circulating with the clip misrepresent what was behind the cut,” according to the fact check. “On Wednesday, pool reporters were allowed to attend the introductory remarks made by Biden, but the session was then closed to the press for the president to take questions from House Democrats. The AP confirmed that Biden did take questions from House Democrats including one on systemic racism and another on the child tax credit.” The entire fact check can be read here.

The White House cut the video feed of the House Democratic Caucus Virtual Issues Conference as President Joe Biden offered to take questions Wednesday evening.

The president had just finished giving a speech at the end of the virtual event thanking House Democrats for showing that “leadership makes a difference” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I believe we’re going to come through this, and I think that people’s memories will be long,” Biden said. “And if we continue to stay laser-focused on getting shots in people’s arms, responding to the economic crisis, it’s going to open up a lot of hearts and a lot of doors for us tomorrow to do the many more things we know we have to do.

“So I want to thank you all. I really mean it from the bottom — I want to thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Biden then offered to answer questions.

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“And I’m happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do,” he said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

The video was ended before anyone had a chance to ask the president a question.

Biden has yet to give a single solo news conference during his first 43 days in office, CNN reported.

“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,” CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak wrote in a note to his colleagues.

Liptak used data from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project for his analysis.

“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,” he wrote.

“That includes both a solo press conference or a 2+2 news conference during his virtual ‘bilateral’ meetings with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.”

Some people have speculated that Biden is waiting for the Democrats’ massive coronavirus relief package to pass before taking questions from reporters.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed Biden’s focus has been on the pandemic and the economy.

“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,” Psaki said in a statement to CNN.

“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.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith