President Biden remains silent in front of reporters at conference
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Reporters were once again removed by White House staffers and denied access to Joe Biden following his update on the coronavirus and the Omicron variant. Mr Biden stared blankly at the journalists who were being escorted out of the room who barked questions at the President to no avail. But one reporter managed to cut through the noise and sarcastically said they were looking forward to a press conference with Mr Biden smiling and replying: “Me too.”
Mr Biden made an announcement on Thursday that the federal government is doubling the number of COVID-19 home test kits, bringing the total to one billion.
But as the announcement wrapped up, journalists tried to get their questions to the President with one asking why Americans must “restrict their activities”.
Mr Biden said he would “talk about that later” before reporters were escorted by staffers.
Handlers could be heard saying “thank you” to drown out the correspondents with many asking questions from concerned Americans.
As the noise quietened down, one reporter could be heard shouting: “Maybe a press conference soon Mr President? We’d look forward to that.”
Mr Biden reacted with a wry smile and said: “Me too.”
It comes as the Supreme Court blocked Mr Biden from enforcing vaccine and testing mandates for large private companies.
The mandate called for workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or submit a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace.
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The move faced a huge backlash from federal leaders after the Biden administration said it would be done to combat the “grave dangers” of the pandemic.
It is not the first time reporters have been denied access to the President as several were also escorted out of the room during an early January announcement.
Mr Biden told the nation he would be purchasing more antiviral pills to combat the spread of coronavirus.
But soon after, reporters were taken out of the room as the President looked on while they exited.
Similar scenes were captured soon after Christmas when Mr Biden addressed state governors.
Mr Biden told governors he would “have your back” and that there was no “federal solution” to the pandemic.
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Reporters were once again denied access to the President following the statement with reports White House coordinator, Jeff Zients, was responsible for the move.
The Daily Mail reports Mr Biden has only conducted nine press conferences during his presidency when compared to Donald Trump’s 21 and Barack Obama’s 27 during the same time period.
Mr Biden also came under fire during the Afghanistan withdrawal last year as the President was noticeably absent for several days before giving an update to the press.
In 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Oval Office and fielded questions from UK journalists about his address to the United Nations.
But after the questions were over, the journalists were removed by loud staffers to prevent questions reaching Mr Biden.
White House correspondents wrote an official complaint to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki following the event with Ms Psaki putting the blame on the Prime Minister.
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