No press conferences. No speeches from the Oval Office, and no State of the Union address.
Is President Joe Biden hiding? He's the first president in four decades not to have held a formal question and answer session during the first months of his presidency. By this point, Donald Trump and George H.W. Bush had each held five press conferences. Bill Clinton had held four.
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After weeks of questions about Biden's lack of public engagement, the White House finally announced on Monday that Biden would give his first primetime speech on Thursday. It will be his first address since taking office.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president's speech will mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdowns. She also added the president will hold a formal press conference before the end of the month.
Last week, during a virtual feed to Democratic lawmakers, Biden offered to take questions. Then he said something that made it appear the President of the United States is taking orders from someone else.
"And I'm happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do Nance... whatever you want me to do," Biden said talking to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But seconds later, the White House cut the feed with no explanation.
On Monday, during prepared remarks, the president appeared to forget the name of his Defense secretary and of the Pentagon:
Whoops: Biden forgets the name of the Pentagon, as well as the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin pic.twitter.com/ZtcgHLBIAO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 8, 2021
It should be noted when the president does take questions, they often come from pre-selected reporters, according to Fox News.
Biden appeared briefly on camera Saturday afternoon to celebrate the Senate passage of the COVID-19 relief bill. However, this was a little preliminary celebration since the Senate's version of the bill still has to be approved by the House before it goes to the president's desk.
In his short speech, Biden tried to describe the bill as bipartisan, but no Republican in the House or the Senate voted for it.
Just watched his whole 10-minute monologue and this did happen. Also tries to describe bill as bi-partisan even though not a single Republican in either chamber voted for it https://t.co/P6HFBIePqD
— Julie Kelly (@julie_kelly2) March 6, 2021
One writer for RedState.com noted in a recent article on Biden's trip to Texas, "This is a man whose mental capacity appears to be rapidly declining before our eyes. You can watch videos of Biden from just five years ago and he's a totally different person."
In a video of the president's speech posted to Twitter, Biden can't seem to remember names, and he even asks, "What am I doing here?"
"What am I doing here?"
This is a national embarrassment. Joe Biden is not mentally fit to lead our country.pic.twitter.com/qbVlCQLVQz
— Cassandra (@CassyWearsHeels) February 26, 2021
CBN Founder Pat Robertson said Biden "apparently has some senile difficulty, I don't know whether you call it dementia or what, but they won't let him talk, whoever his handlers are don't trust him to go live before a group of reporters, and that is shocking. What are we going to do?"
Robertson implied it could be just a matter of time before an effort will begin to invoke the 25th Amendment to bump the newly elected president from office.
Last fall, House Speaker Pelosi already unveiled a 25th Amendment plan as she was looking toward the future of either forcing Trump or Biden from office.
Robertson also noted there are 30+ Democrats who are obviously concerned about Biden, wanting to keep him from having his hand on the nuclear trigger. As CBN News reported in late February, House Democrats want President Biden to renounce his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons.
If he were to agree to the proposal, such action could take the same power away from future presidents.
Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote a letter signed by 31 of their Democratic colleagues calling on Biden to give up sole authority to launch nuclear weapons.
"Vesting one person with this authority entails real risks. Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president's judgment," the California representatives wrote.
Democrats want Biden to put in checks and balances in the nuclear command and control structure so one person can't launch a first strike.
Among the recommendations: requiring the Vice President or House Speaker to agree with a launch order, according to Politico.com.
The New York Post reports another recommendation suggested by the lawmakers involves requiring a congressional declaration of war and specific approval from Congress on the strike.
Critics raise the objection that the changes would weaken the power of the presidency and would also apply to future presidents.
"This is about more than just one man. It's about the presidency even if it is Joe Biden during nap time," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
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