US President Joe Biden has said he is "not supposed" to take any extra questions from reporters as he was leaving a press conference in the White House. He did not explain why this ban exists, but added that he still agrees to take supplementary questions from time to time:
"You guys are bad, I'm not supposed to be answering all these questions. I'm supposed to leave but I can't resist your questions," Biden said.
After answering one question regarding his meeting devoted to the proposed major infrastructure reform, the president decided it was finally time to go, despite the reporters' asking about Americans' concerns regarding rising consumer prices in the US.
“I’m not supposed to be answering all these questions. I’m supposed to leave.”— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) May 13, 2021
“President” Biden is exactly what we thought he’d be: A semi-conscious doddering geriatric acting as a veneer for the intelligence apparatus that actually runs the government. pic.twitter.com/nIgSdFrQyP
Biden's apparent reluctance to take part in major press conferences has sparked speculations about his health. He gave his first major press conference on 25 March – more than two months after his inauguration – and it lasted a little over an hour.
This strategy was partially explained by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said in an interview with CNN's David Axelrod that Biden was often "not recommended" to take questions from the press but she added that he does not necessarily follow this advice.
"He's going to do what he wants to because he's the president of the United States", Psaki said.
The press secretary justified such recommendations by the need to "use [Biden's] time" carefully and focus on the questions that the public - in the White House's opinion - "care about".