East Room set for Biden’s first news conference

President Joe Biden speaks after meeting with leaders from Georgia's Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Emory University in Atlanta, as Vice President Kamala Harris listens

The scene is set for President Joe Biden’s first formal news conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday afternoon.

It’ll look quite from past presidential news conferences, given the coronavirus pandemic.

The presidential lectern is on a rug before American and presidential flags in the expansive room. Just 30 socially distanced chairs are set out, and the White House is limiting attendance at the news conference due to the virus.

Microphones will be shuttled to reporters by White House aides and will be sanitized before being passed to the next journalist. Biden has gone longer than any recent president in waiting to hold an initial formal news conference. He took office Jan. 20.

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