Biden holds press conference ahead of one-year White House anniversary

Biden holds press conference ahead of one-year White House anniversary

4:17pm Jan 19, 2022
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.
Susan Walsh / AP

Updated January 19, 2022 at 4:17 PM ET

President Biden on Wednesday held his first press conference of 2022, a day ahead of his first anniversary in the White House.

In opening remarks, the president acknowledged the difficulties the nation has faced as a result of the coronavirus, but hailed his administration's progress in testing and vaccinations as proof that the country has a hopeful future beyond the pandemic.

"It's been a year of challenges, but it's also been a year of enormous progress," he said.

"Some people may call what's happening a new normal. I call it a job not yet finished. It will get better," he said.

Watch his 4 p.m. press conference here:

For Biden, it's a chance to try to focus on some highlights of his time in office, like the massive COVID-19 aid package and the infrastructure bill — even as major legislative priorities like voting rights, improvements to the social safety net and climate incentives have stalled.

When Biden took over from former President Donald Trump, the coronavirus pandemic was in full force, ravaging the national economy and education system, as well as overwhelming hospital emergency rooms and funeral homes.

Now, soaring inflation and supply-chain snarls have hit Americans in the wallet and grocery store. What's more, the omicron variant of the coronavirus is raging and the Supreme Court ruled against Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate.

He ended 2021 with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

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