The White House abruptly cut off the live feed feed for an event President Joe Biden was hosting with the House Democratic Caucus after the commander-in-chief appeared to venture off-script by saying he would be willing to answer questions from the audience.
Biden appeared with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other members of the Democratic Party during the live event, and spoke about his administration’s ongoing obsession with COVID-19 and the steps purportedly taken to halt its spread.
“I’d be happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance,” Biden said to Pelosi. “Whatever you want me to do.”
Within moments, the feed cut to a blue screen, and President Biden was no longer visible. A “Thank You For Joining” message informed viewers that the event was now over.
BIDEN: "I'm happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do…"
*White House feed cut* pic.twitter.com/y5BHhgXWOB
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) March 3, 2021
The Biden administration has been reluctant to have Biden make the amount of public appearances normally associated with the presidential office, with many of Biden’s duties being handed over to Vice President Kamala Harris.
Biden spokesperson Jen Psaki stated earlier this week that there are still no plans for Biden to host a White House press conference with reporters:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Monday that unlike his predecessors, President Joe Biden will not be holding a live press conference in the near future, despite having been in office for over a month at this point.
When asked if Biden had scheduled his first press conference yet, Psaki replied, “Not yet, but we will definitely have one, we will schedule it, and you will be the first to know, because you’re pivotal participants in that.”
Biden has still refused to hold a White House press conference despite being in office for over a month, preferring to let Psaki and Vice President Kamala Harris handle his media obligations as concern mounts over his mental state.
The White House’s decision to cut the live feed when Biden was about to field questions served as proof for many administration critics Wednesday that the president is being shielded from real-time interactions.