Joe Biden stared blankly and ignored reporters who were desperately trying to get answers about America’s Covid strategy following the President’s White House address. Handlers could be heard in the background ushering journalists out of the room who tried to put their questions to Mr Biden. The move comes as Mr Biden has been accused by critics for avoiding the media and has faced backlash from White House correspondents who are not being given access.
President Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday and told US citizens is doubling the order of a Pfizer pill that could treat Covid and would be enough to treat 20 million people.
Mr Biden said: “We’re going to see, as you all have been hearing, continued rise in cases.
“Omicron is a very transmissible variant, but much different than anything we’ve seen before.
“But you can protect yourself, and you should protect yourself, quite frankly: get vaccinated, get boosted — there’s plenty of booster shots — wear a mask while you’re in public.”
But as the briefing wrapped up, journalists tried to get their questions heard but aides repeatedly thanked them and moved them out of the room.
Mr Biden remained sat at his desk as his staff vacated the journalists.
During his briefing, Mr Biden urged Americans to use Google and find out where their local testing sites are.
Mr Biden also urged parents to keep their children away from unvaccinated people to keep them safe and said there were reasons to be hopeful in “2020”.
It is not the first time handlers have stepped in to remove journalists as a group were removed on December 27 during Mr Biden’s address to state governors.
Mr Biden told governors he would “have your back” and that there was no “federal solution” to the pandemic.
But journalist Curtis Houck explained on Twitter how the White House coordinator, Jeff Zients, removed the correspondents.
Mr Zients is responsible for the White House’s Covid response and it is unclear whether the move was due to Covid safety.
Similarly, handlers kicked out journalists when Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Oval Office in September.
After Mr Johnson answered questions from the UK press, handlers rushed in and ushered reporters out of the room.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was hit with an official complaint after the events.
Mr Biden has also raised his voice in the presence of reporters when they finally question him.
Just before Christmas, Mr Biden delivered a coronavirus update urging people to get their vaccines with reporters managing to worm some questions through to the President.
Mr Biden was quizzed on the difficulties of his Build Back Better framework but shouted at the journalist when he began discussing the difficulties of families supporting their sick children.
He concluded by remarking he was “not supposed to be having this press conference”.