The Daily Update: Biden's First Press Conference

Yesterday President Joe Biden held his first press conference from the White House, his 65th day in office. He opened by promising to double his original goal on COVID-19 vaccines by pledging that the US will administer 200 million doses by the end of his first 100 days in office, declaring ‘hope is on the way’. Biden also signalled he is open to making significant changes to the legislative filibuster in the Senate if it continues to be a roadblock to passing legislation on key agenda items like voting rights. He repeated his belief that the Senate should go back to the talking filibuster, which requires senators to hold the floor in order to block legislation. He believes the current system is being ‘abused in a gigantic way’ and he may be willing to support exceptions to the filibuster or changing the rule entirely.

Biden also gave warning to China and what he believes is its ambition to become the most powerful country in the world. China's goal, he said, is ‘to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world’. However, he warned ‘That's not going to happen on my watch’. The president said the competition between the countries would be one of democracy versus autocracy.

In the Q&A after the press conference, Biden was asked if he planned to run for a second term. ‘That's my expectation’ he replied adding that he ‘would fully expect’ that Vice President Kamala Harris will remain on the presidential ticket, calling her ‘a great partner’. However, the idea is not set in stone. ‘I’m a great respecter of fate’ he said, ‘I’ve never been able to plan three-and-a-half year’s ahead for certain’. If he were to run in 2024, he would be 81 years old.