Ahead of his one year anniversary in office, President Biden plans to hold his first formal news conference in months. Biden has remained out of the public eye this week as he prepares for just the second solo White House press conference amid slipping poll performance, 40-year record inflation levels looming, and all-time high COVID-19 cases.
The President is seeking to highlight his administration’s progress amid the ongoing pandemic. In announcing the press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president “looks forward to speaking directly to the American people.”
Averages of the most recent national polls compiled by both Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight put Biden’s approval at 42% and disapproval at 52%.
Biden’s approval rating hovered in the low to mid 50s during his first six months in the White House. But the president’s numbers began to decline in August at the wake of Biden’s much-criticized handling of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan and a surge in COVID-19 cases this summer.
Biden’s approval ratings average has hovered in the low 40s and his disapproval ratings average in the low 50s since mid-October.
But a Quinnipiac University national poll grabbed headlines last week when it measured the president’s approval at just 33%. A White House memo described the survey as an “outlier.”
However, it’s important that Biden makes this press conference. “There are times when you have to step up. This is one of them,” said David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, in The Washington Post. “You have to try to shape the narrative of the last year, because you know the media and opposition will.”