President Joseph R. Biden will conduct his first press conference Thursday — after 64 days being in office and continually ducking the media’s questions. The press should hold Mr. Biden accountable and dive into his policy decisions in order to extract details and new information for the public, without fear or favor.
Yet, I won’t hold my breath. Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan penned this week she was worried the press would be too tough on Mr. Biden — as his first solo appearance is a “big test” for him, but an even “bigger test for White House reporters.”
No, it’s not. Mr. Biden is the leader of the free world and should be up to answer any question on any topic by an unencumbered news media. So if there are any enterprising reporters left within the White House, here are a few suggestions on questions to ask:
- You called Republican governors “Neanderthals” for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, and yet your administration is releasing COVID-19-positive migrants into the U.S. interior and filling detention centers up to 700% capacity, without any social distancing. How will these policies not lead to super-spreader events?
- Your administration said it would be transparent — and yet you’re prohibiting press access at the southern border and it appears your secretary of Homeland Security lied to the public when he said the vast majority of people crossing the border are being sent back, when in truth only 13% of families were turned away at the border last week. Why the obfuscation and lies?
- Why did you halt construction of the border wall and why won’t you reinstitute the funding — given that it’s already been allocated — with the ongoing border crisis?
- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blamed our migrant crisis on your border policies — how is he wrong?
- When you came into office, you had already received both COVID-19 vaccinations and the U.S. population was already on track to receive 100 million shots within 100 days — a goal you claimed was “ambitious.” Why do you refuse to give the previous administration credit for Operation Warp Speed, especially given your calls for unity?
- Speaking of unity, your administration rebuffed Republican senators’ recommendations in your COVID-19 relief bill, and you still haven’t spoken with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Why is this, and why are you refusing to compromise and work across the aisle?
- You said passing your $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill was essential to reopening schools, and yet, the majority of the money dedicated to reopening schools won’t be spent this year. When should schools reopen fully?
- Do you support the U.S. House’s efforts to overturn Iowa’s state-certified House election in favor of the Democratic challenger? How is this not considered election interference and undermining our free and fair electoral system?
- Do you support ending the U.S. Senate filibuster if that’s what’s required to pass your proposed $3 trillion infrastructure bill, grant D.C. statehood, and enact gun reform?
- Why did you break protocol to name your administration the Biden-Harris administration? How large a role does Mrs. Harris play in the administration, and do you anticipate stepping down at some point due to widely speculated concerns about your health?