White House comms director ‘a little surprised’ Biden wasn’t asked about COVID-19 during press conference

Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF

White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said Friday she was surprised the president wasn’t asked about the coronavirus during his first solo press conference as commander-in-chief.

“I think most Americans across the country are focused on the virus and how it’s impacting their lives, and what we’re doing to get it under control and make things better. So it was a little surprising,” Bedingfield said on CNN’s “New Day.” President Joe Biden was asked to comment on a range of issues on Thursday, including immigration, foreign policy and the filibuster.

“Of course, it’s the press’s prerogative to ask whatever they want, but it was a little surprising that the issue that is of number one concern to everyone in this country, didn’t get a question at the press conference yesterday,” Bedingfield said.

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At the beginning of the press conference Biden announced a goal to administer 200 million vaccines within his first 100 days in office. Biden said the administration had already achieved its goal of administering 100 million vaccines by May 1.

“That’s right, 200 million shots in 100 days. I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal,” Biden said. “But no other country in the world has even come close, not even close, to what we are doing. I believe we can do it.”

Bedingfield said the administration is working to ensure every American is eligible to receive the vaccine ahead of the deadline. She said the White House aims to secure states’ support to aid in the effort.

“We are working toward it. States make those eligibility decisions, but of course what the president has done is secure enough vaccine to ensure that all Americans would be able to receive a shot, would be eligible for a shot starting May 1,” Bedingfield said.

“So we’ve made enormous progress in the 65 days since we’ve been in office to secure more vaccine and stand up more places for people to get vaccinated so it’s easier for people to get vaccinated,” Bedingfield said. “So that is what the president’s pushing toward, the states make those decisions, but that’s what he’s pushing toward.”

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