Biden didn’t call on Fox News during his first press conference. Reporter Peter Doocy said he had ‘binders of questions’

Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about the Colorado shootings in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2021.

  • Fox News White House reporter Peter Doocy said he was snubbed at Biden’s first press conference.
  • Doocy said he had a “binder full of questions,” to ask.
  • Biden was asked about immigration, gun control, and revealed he plans to run for reelection.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After President Joe Biden’s first official press conference on Thursday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy claimed he was denied the opportunity to ask Biden a question.

Biden began by addressing nationwide progress on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration, and later took questions from a variety of reporters.

Biden was asked about immigration, gun control, and also conceded that he plans to run for reelection in 2024.

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, who has regularly had questions answered during briefings with the press secretary Jen Psaki, did not ask a question during Biden’s conference and later appeared on Fox News to unload.

Biden took questions from 10 reporters during the presser.

Following a panel featuring the on-screen chyron, “Biden Snubs Fox News during First News Conference,” the network cut to Doocy at the White House.

“I mentioned last night I had a binder full of questions,” Doocy said, smiling and thumbing through pieces of paper.

“I think some people were kidding, I was not kidding,” Doocy said, adding that he planned to ask Biden about his, “big plan to transform the economy and make it all green.”

Doocy also pointed out that there were no questions about COVID-19 at the press briefing.

Later, Doocy told his Fox News colleagues Biden was calling on reporters on his own, not directly assisted by aides or Jen Psaki.

“I’m not sure if that was the end of the list. If we were on it, he did not make it down that far,” Doocy said.

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Biden was not asked a single question about the COVID-19 pandemic during his first press conference

Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington

  • President Joe Biden gave his first press conference Thursday since taking office in January.
  • During the hour-long conference, not a single question about COVID-19 was asked of the president.
  • Reporters faced criticism afterwards for failing to ask about the dominant issue in the country.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

During President Joe Biden’s first solo press conference since taking office in January, not a single reporter asked a question about the coronavirus pandemic – a notable omission as the country continues to see tens of thousands of new cases each day.

But Americans tuning in to the hour-long conference still received an update on the state of the nation’s vaccine rollout.

Biden began the conference by discussing vaccinations and other “top priorities for the American people,” like reopening schools, stimulus checks, and pandemic-related unemployment.

He said the administration had reached its goal of 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days last week, more than 40 days ahead of schedule. As a result, he announced an updated vaccination goal: 200 million shots in his first 100 days.

“I know it’s ambitious,” he said. “I believe we can do it.”

As he opened the floor for questions from reporters, the conversation quickly steered away from COVID-19.

The president answered questions on myriad other topics, such as immigration reform, gun control, foreign policy, the GOP, voting rights, the filibuster, and his plans for 2024.

After the hour was over, social media began to ignite with criticism over the glaring COVID-question exclusions from the White House Press Corps.

Political commentator and podcaster Tommy Vietor tweeted that the shortage of pandemic questions was a “ridiculous failure” to focus on the issues that Americans care about most.

White house Chief of Staff Ronald Klein retweeted a number of tweets noting the absence immediately following the press conference.

New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg said in a tweet that the slew of non-COVID questions suggest “coronavirus is no longer Topic A.”

Klein responded: “Pretty sure it is for the American people and the Biden WH.”

Kate Brennan, editorial director at Just Security, encouraged Twitter users to share the COVID-19 questions they would have asked Biden given the opportunity.

Some were quick to note that the growing criticism directed at reporters for failing to ask pandemic-related questions is likely a political positive for Biden.

Others, still, suggested the absence of coronavirus questions was proof of Biden’s success thus far in handing the country’s COVID-19 response. The news that the administration has handily met its vaccination goal ahead of schedule perhaps signaled to reporters there was no need to press the president on the subject.

COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations have been trending downward since the deadly spike seen this winter. As vaccinations continue to increase and the weather starts to get nicer, scientists and public health officials have predicted a return to some version of normalcy this summer.

And yet, the country is still averaging about 1,000 deaths a day and case counts remain high in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions of Americans are still unemployed and many children are still learning online. More than a year in to the pandemic, coronavirus is undoubtedly, still the dominant issue impacting Americans.

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