Biden to Hold News Conference 64 Days After Taking Office—Longest Gap in 100 Years

President Joe Biden will have his first formal press conference as president next week—nine weeks after taking office and longer than any president in modern history.

The White House told reporters about the solo event slated for next Thursday but hasn't yet given a time.

Biden, who was sworn into office on January 20, has answered some shouted questions from reporters at other events or less formal settings, but his Republican rivals have recently questioned why he had gone so long without a lengthier press conference with more questions from reporters in a formal setting.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has repeatedly defended the delay, as Biden focused on efforts to pass his COVID-19 relief legislation.

"He has done about 40 Q&As since he took office," she told reporters last week. "But in terms of a formal press conference, which I understand there's a big focus on, we will have one before the end of the month."

Biden, 78, has developed a reputation as a gaffe-maker during his decades in Washington politics. As he was testing the waters for a presidential run in 2018, Biden even joked about himself being a "gaffe machine." He also has openly spoken of battling a stutter.

As the coronavirus pandemic spread in the United States during the final stretch of the election last year, Biden largely stayed off the impromptu campaign trail, instead holding more intimate gatherings or scripted addresses from his Delaware home.

The White House hasn't yet sought time for a joint address to Congress, after a deadly riot prompted increased security protocols and amid COVID-19 precautions that have limited capacity in both chambers.

"We are looking forward to doing a joint address," Psaki told reporters. "We're working through that with Congress."

Biden gave his first prime time address to the public last week and this week has set out to promote the passage of the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package by making several stops in multiple states.

Biden's predecessor, reality star-turned-politician Donald Trump, held his first lone press conference 27 days after taking office, though he fielded reporters questions alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May just a week after he was sworn into office.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Ronna McDaniel brought up Biden's lack of news conference during an appearance on Fox News on Friday.

"He hasn't said anything to anybody because he hasn't given a press conference in over 50 days which is unprecedented," she told host Martha MacCallum.

The Washington Post editorial board and other media outlets also have highlighted the lack of direct solo press conference with Biden in recent days.

Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden waves from Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on March 16, 2021, en route to visit a small business in Chester, Pennsylvania to highlight how the American Rescue Plan helps small businesses. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP/Getty Images