President Joe Biden will deliver the first solo press conference of his presidency Thursday afternoon — marking a new record for the longest a commander in chief has gone in the last century without speaking to the media formally.
Biden went longer than his 15 most recent predecessors — stretching back at least 100 years — without taking questions from journalists at an extended official forum.
All 15 prior presidents held a solo press conference within 33 days of taking office, according to a CNN analysis of data from the American Presidency Project.
Former President Donald Trump held his first solo press conference 27 days after taking office. Former President Barack Obama held one 20 days into the job.
In his first 64 days in office, Biden had answered reporter questions in passing during brief encounters, generally before boarding presidential aircraft or after concluding official events.
He had not, however, faced reporters alone in an extended presser since becoming leader of the free world.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of Thursday’s presser:
Where to watch
The presser will be carried on all major TV news networks, and will also be available for streaming through C-SPAN, PBS and YouTube, beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET.
What to expect
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden faced criticism for his decision to campaign from his Wilmington, Del., home.
The move, defended by Biden as something done as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, extremely diminished what access the press had to the Democratic presidential candidate.
Now in the White House, Biden appears to be continuing that trend.
His administration regularly uses COVID-19 as an explanation when reporters complain about the lack of press access.
The White House has only said that the presser will be “open to pre-credentialed media,” meaning the reporters of their choosing will be allowed in.
It is not clear whether Biden will call from a prepared list of journalists, either.
Asked on Tuesday how the 46th president was preparing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden was “thinking about what he wants to say, what he wants to convey, where he can provide updates and [is] looking forward to the opportunity to engage with a free press.”