CITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2021)—–President Joe Biden held his first press conference in less than 90 days after being sworn in on January 20, 2021. Biden’s looked pale and tired and checking his notes often at the beginning of the press conference. Later as the press conference progressed–he felt more comfortable in responding to the questions.
Biden’s Goals, and Accomplishments
- Biden: Made a historic investment in reaching the hardest-hit and the most vulnerable communities, the highest-risk communities — as a consequence of the virus — by investing an addition $10 billion in being able to reach them.
- Biden:set a goal, before I took office, of getting a majority of schools in K through 8 fully open in the first 100 days.
- Biden said in “a recent Department of Education Department survey shows that nearly half of the K-through-8 schools are open now full time, five days a week, for in-person learning. Not yet a majority, but we’re really close. And I believe, in the 35 days left to go, we’ll meet that goal as well.”
Biden kudos included the American Rescue Plan and the economy. “Since we passed the American Rescue Plan, we’re starting to see new signs of hope in our economy. Since it was passed, a majority — a majority of economic forecasters have significantly increased their projections on the economic growth that’s going to take place this year. They’re now projecting it will exceed 6 percent — a 6 percent growth in GDP.”
President Biden also took credit for the COVID-19 vaccine, although President Donald J. Trump ordered more than 300 million vaccines before leaving office. The vaccines that Biden used was already in the mix to reach his 100 million vaccine goal. But Biden again, takes credit for vaccinating the American people without thanking President Donald J. Trump for a job well done. Biden instead gave his administration the credit for the improving economy “we learned that the number of people filing for weekly unemployment insurance fell by nearly 100,000 persons. That’s the first time in a year the number has fallen below the pre-pandemic high.” Biden failed to acknowledged the dedicated work that the Trump’s administration took to save lives and to deliver a record setting vaccine–that would not be available for the Biden’s administration to distributed.
The Notes Took Front Stage
Biden lost his train of thought during the press conference when responding to the press—and responded to the questions with extremely verbose answers–that was inside a three ring binder. Biden repeatedly stated that “No, no, but I mean — I don’t know how much detail you want about immigration. Maybe I’ll stop there and fin- –.”
President Joe Biden looks on notes as he answers questions from journalists during the first formal press conference of his presidency.
Biden said that he should be flattered that the migrants are crossing the border after facing death, crimes, drugs and COVID-19. Biden said “Well, look, I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy; that’s the reason why it’s happening — that I’m a decent man or however it’s phrased. That — you know, that’s why they’re coming, because they know Biden is a good guy.”
“The truth of the matter is: Nothing has changed. As many people came — 28 percent increase in children to the border in my administration; 31 percent in the last year of — in 2019, before the pandemic, in the Trump administration. It happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. That happens every year,” added Biden.
Biden Blamed Trump
President Biden’s press conference did end without blaming President Trump for the border crisis, although Biden opened the flood gates. Biden said referring to Trump “he eliminated that funding. He didn’t use it. He didn’t do it. And in addition to that, what he did — he dismantled all the elements that exist to deal with what had been a problem and — and has been — continued to be a problem for a long time. He, in fact, shut down the — the number of beds available. He did not fund HHS to get people to get the children out of those — those Border Patrol facilities where they should not be and not supposed to be more than a few days — a little while. But he dismantled all of that.”
The pods were designed to house 260 individuals, but that one of them held more than 400 unaccompanied male minors. The new administration says it sees ending a Trump-era policy of forcing migrants to remain in Mexico while their cases adjudicated as “a moral imperative.” The new White House says the Trump administration handed it a crumbling immigration and asylum system.
IThe Trump’s administration was transparent in allowing journalist access to the facilities, but the Biden’s administration has denied access to journalists. CBP said that in order “to protect the health and safety of our workforce and those in our care we continue to discourage external visitors in our facilities.”
Biden said that “If you take a look at the number of people who are coming, the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people coming to the border and crossing are being sent back — are being sent back. Thousands — tens of thousands of people who are — who are over 18 years of age and single — people, one at a time coming, have been sent back, sent home.”
Biden later said that “we’ve set up a system now where, within 24 hours, there’s a phone call made as that person or that child crosses the border. And then a verification system is being put in place as of today to determine quickly whether or not that is a trafficker being called or that is actually a mom, a dad, and/or a close relative. ” But a reporter quickly challenged Biden’s statement
Biden is in negotiations with Mexico to send the migrants back–a previous agreement that President Trump had with Mexico prior to Biden breaking the agreement. Mexico is currently “refusing to take them back. They’re saying they won’t take them back — not all of them,” said Biden.
Biden’s Infrastructure Plans
Biden said that “the United States now ranks 13th globally in infrastructure quality — down from 5th place in 2002,” read one bullet point.”
The Abrupt Ending
At the end of the press conference Biden abruptly ended the press conference, telling reporters, “but folks. I’m going,” without sticking around for a follow-up question.
Photos White House Pool