MEDIA WATCH

Reporters Ask Biden Zero Questions on COVID-19

Not a single question was asked President Biden at his first press conference about the COVID-19 pandemic that has been the biggest event for the past year.

The President did make announcements related to the pandemic at the beginning of the press conference, declaring his goal of administering 200 million vaccine shots to American citizens by the end of his first 100 days as President.

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“We will, by my 100th day in office, have administered 200 million shots in people’s arms,” he said. “I know it’s ambitious — twice our original goal — but no other country in the world has come close, not even close, to what we’re doing.”

He also announced a new $10 billion investment to expand vaccine uptake in minority and rural communities.

But no reporters asked Biden about the pandemic, vaccinations, or anything else related to COVID-19 throughout the more than an hour that he dealt with questions on immigration, gun control, and foreign policy.

The President took questions from 10 reporters on the filibuster, bipartisanship, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, his plans to run again at the next elections, and China. The rush of migrants at the southern border was the most popular subject.

The lack of focus on the pandemic is an indicator that the press’s attention is changing from the health crisis to other matters, particularly immigration and the filibuster.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, appeared to recognize the lack of questions on the pandemic, retweeting several tweets from journalists and political figures that pointed the same.

Biden’s accent in his first two months has been on addressing the pandemic and persuading Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion rescue package, a thing he pointed in his first reply to a question from The Associated Press on how to advance his agenda on voting rights, immigration reform and gun control in a Congress that is split.

“I got elected to solve problems and the most urgent problem facing the American people, I stated from the outset, was COVID-19 and the economic dislocation for millions and millions of Americans,” Biden stated. “The other problems we’re talking about from immigration to guns and the other things you mentioned are long-term problems.”

He said he hoped “God willing” to concentrate on those problems one by one.

On Wednesday the United States exceeded 30 million coronavirus cases in total and nearly 550,000 American citizens have lost their lives because of the virus. Millions have found themselves jobless as a result of the pandemic, though the economic tension showed signs of relief somewhat on Thursday as initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 20 fell under 700,000 for the first time in a year.

“There are still too many Americans out of work, too many families hurting and we still have a lot of work to do,” the President said at the start of the press conference after mentioning the new figures.

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Biden pointed out that “help is here and hope is on the way.”

Source: thehill.com

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