President Joe Biden held a virtual event with the House Democratic Caucus in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on Wednesday, March 3.
Accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Biden addressed lawmakers on a number of topics including the COVID-19 relief efforts and the ongoing vaccine rollout. He concluded his remarks by calling on Democrats to help restoring the faith of the American people in the government.
However, towards the end as the president said he was ready to take questions from Democratic lawmakers, his live feed was abruptly cut by the White House.
"Thank you and I'm happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do, Nance," Biden told the speaker. "Whatever you want me to do." The feed ended seconds later, after a brief pause from the president. Watch the clip below:
Concerns Over Biden's Cognitive Decline
The video footage of the incident instantly went viral on Twitter, amassing more than 800,000 views on the platform and racked up thousands of comments, mostly from right-wing social media, with users voicing their concerns over Biden's mental capacity to run the country.
"I feel sorry for the guy. He's obviously declining and his people don't trust him to talk. It's pathetic," wrote one user, while another commented, "It's literally unbelievable that man was allowed to run for President. He has had an obvious (seriously sad) mental impairment for a while.
"The man has no effing idea where he is or what he's even doing," opined a third user.
"Will the President of the United States ever take questions?," asked another.
The clip comes amid nationwide concerns over Biden's apparent cognitive decline following a White House run blemished by repeated gaffes and other instances of the 78-year-old either becoming confused or tongue-tied. Last week, he went viral after he was caught mumbling "What am I doing here?" and mispronouncing the names of fellow Democrats during a trip to Texas.
Biden Faces Criticism for Not Holding a Press Conference
While Biden was poised to take questions from lawmakers on Wednesday, the president continues to face growing criticism for not holding a solo formal press conference in the six weeks since assuming office.
Biden has addressed reporters briefly before boarding the Air Force One and has also taken questions from reporters when making statements on the coronavirus and other matters. Hisâadministration has also resumed the daily White House briefings with press secretary Jen Psaki. However, Biden is yet to face reporters alone.
In comparison, former President Barack Obama held one press conference 20 days after he was inaugurated and former President Donald Trump took questions 27 days in.