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In someone’s front yard - Washington DC. Photo credit: Maria Thalassiou
Washington

Is the ‘leader of the free world’ in hiding?

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that unlike his predecessors, US President Joe Biden will not be participating in any live press conference in the near future. Biden has increasingly come under fire for not holding a formal press conference and taking questions even from carefully selected reporters in the six weeks since taking office.

Published: March 8, 2021, 10:18 am

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    Despite having been in office for over a month, Biden has not held one White House press conference. Instead, Psaki and Vice President Kamala Harris have taken over his media obligations with concern mounting over his mental state.

    When asked if Biden had scheduled his first press conference, 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.”

    Even as the US carried out air strikes in eastern Syria in February, the first overt use of military force under President Joe Biden, he remained in hiding. “The operation sends an unambiguous message,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”

    Instead, by hitting a facility in Syria, the US raised tensions in the region, with the Biden administration endangering a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal which former President Trump had abanonded three years ago.

    In February, Psaki announced that Biden would not meet with world leaders over the next few months, since Vice President Harris will be taking care of the administration’s international meetings via phone calls. The White House Press Secretary confirmed last week that Biden would not be meeting with foreign leaders in-person for “a couple of months”.

    “It will be a couple of months before the President has an in-person or invites a foreign leader to meet in person here at the White House,” Psaki said during a recent White House press conference.

    Vice President Kamala Harris has thus assumed many of the traditional roles of the US presidency, making calls to foreign leaders on behalf of the President.

    National File reported that Harris took calls from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 2, and French President Emmanuel Macron. When Harris spoke extensively with President Macron, she “expressed her commitment to strengthening bilateral ties between the United States and France and to revitalizing the transatlantic alliance”. Harris also “thanked President Macron for his leadership on the issue of gender equality and for France’s contribution to NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover”.

    It is unclear if Joe Biden’s early bed time of 7 pm, as reported by CNN, played a part in this development. Biden’s schedule is peculiar for a US president: He allegedly starts working at 8 am and stops working at 7 pm, going to bed shortly after. As National File noted, President Trump used to sleep only four hours a night.

    Biden’s live feed was cut off recently by the White House staff just after he offered to take questions from lawmakers. Accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he had been speaking to House Democrats about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution.

    Just before Biden was cut off during the virtual event with the House Democratic Caucus, he appeared once again to be confused about his role: “I’d be happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance [Nancy Pelosi]. Whatever you want me to do.” The livestream ended seconds later.

    Despite the mainstream media trying to hide it, a Rasmussen poll had found that 60 percent of young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 believed that it was likely that Biden was suffering from dementia. Many Americans have therefore observed Biden’s cognitive decline. Overall, 38 percent of likely voters believed Biden was suffering from some form of dementia, including 20 percent of Democratic voters who had agreed even before the US presidential elections.

    Biden has also refused to publish the results of his cognitive tests. He had promised to do as much last September when he said he would publish his full medical history, according to The Hill. But to date, Biden has only released some details of a physical conducted in December last year and nothing on his cognitive condition.

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