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Biden To Deliver First Prime-Time Address on 1 Year Anniversary of Pandemic Shutdowns

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President Joe Biden has yet to hold a solo press conference, but he is preparing to deliver his first prime-time address to the nation.

Biden will deliver remarks on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday, “The president will deliver his first prime-time address to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown on Thursday.”

“He will discuss the many sacrifices the American people have made over the last year, and the grave loss communities and families across the country have suffered,” she added.

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Biden’s speech comes one year after then-President Donald Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European nations to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement also comes as Biden has broken with the precedent set by the previous 15 presidents, who all held a press conference within 33 days of taking office. 

Psaki has vowed that Biden “will hold a solo press conference.” However, she has not yet provided a date for when one will be scheduled.

The Washington Post’s editorial board penned an op-ed on Sunday urging the president to hold a press conference.

“Last month would have been better, and this week would be better than next. Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden. He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning,” the op-ed read.

The editorial board noted that Biden has “shown galaxies more respect for the free press” than Trump and has held interviews with print and TV outlets.

However, it argued, “These often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions, answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined.”

Finally, the editorial board argued that a Biden press conference could be used to “advertise his more thoughtful, reality-based approach.”

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Psaki told reporters that Biden is committed to holding a press conference by the end of the month. 

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