President Joe Biden held a formal news conference at the White House on Wednesday, the eve of the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. Wednesday’s session marked just the second time Biden has held a solo formal press conference at the White House; the first such news conference was held March 25, 2021.
Biden took questions from reporters on his handling of the pandemic, the economy and legislative agenda, and characterizing the country as unified. Before fielding questions from reporters, Biden said: “It’s been a year of challenges, but it’s also many years of enormous progress.”
Biden touted wins over the year, including administering more than 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and hitting record-low unemployment rates in many states — despite Biden’s approval rating in polls hitting an all-time low. In his opening remarks, Biden acknowledged: “Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes. But we’re doing more now. We’ve gone from zero at-home tests a year ago to 375 million tests on the market just this month.” On the subject of COVID-19, Biden said the country is “in a better place than we’ve been and have been thus far” and reiterated his position not to go back to lockdowns and school closures.
When Biden was questioned as to whether he overpromised to the American public what his administration could achieve in office one year in, the President replied: “Look, I didn’t overpromise. I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen. The fact of the matter is that we’re in a situation where we have made enormous progress.” He then acknowledged: “One thing I haven’t been able to do so far, is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country. I did not anticipate that there’d be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done.”
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