President Joe Biden was finally able to disembark from Air Force One on Monday after airport personnel struggled through the heavy snowfall to bring the stair lift to the door of the presidential plane.
With ground workers supporting the truck, the staircase was moved slowly in the snowy conditions.
The president was stuck on the plane for 30 minutes, waiting on the snowy tarmac while the staff worked to free him and so the tarmac could be plowed.
Biden, who is 79 years old, carefully walked down the stairs, with one hand resting on the rail and his other supporting himself against the heavy snow. The snow poured down heavily, making the President sway as the plane flew away.
Unusual move: A Secret Service agent marched right alongside the President on the steps. They normally keep to a distance from the camera so they don’t appear in the shot. Last March, President Obama fell down on the staircase while boarded the presidential airplane.
The Beast’s presidential car was waiting to be used by Biden. For the snowy drive back to the White House, Biden used the SUV version of his car instead of the armoured limousine.
Vice President Biden embarks Air Force One on the snow
Biden raised his hand in defense of the heavy snowfall.
Biden was trapped on board the aircraft while airport staff struggled to get the stairlift through the snow.
Biden climbs in his SUV to drive home from the White House
Air Force One arrived at snowy Joint Base Andrews
Air Force personnel de-ice president’s plane
Biden was among many D.C. citizens who were affected by heavy snowfall that had blanketed their area. For the District of Columbia and northern Virginia, as much as 10 inches of snow are forecast.
His poll numbers hover in the lower 40s and his agenda remains stalled at Capitol Hill. He attempts to end a Republican sweep in the 2020 midterm elections.
As snow forced the government and schools to cancel, President Obama was on his return from a six-day New Year’s Holiday break in Wilmington. He originally was scheduled to fly by Marine One directly from Delaware to the South Lawn. He instead took Air Force One from Delaware to Joint Base Andrews, and then took the Presidential Motorcade to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Jen Psaki was also unable to attend Monday’s White House press briefing.
According to the White House, “Because federal offices are closing in Washington, DC, there will not be any press briefing today,”
Psaki last briefed the media on December 23. Psaki did not brief during the New Year and Christmas holidays.
Biden plans to continue his virtual meeting with farmers and ranchers in order to address rising meat prices.
To travel with President Joe Biden from Wilmington Del. for his New Year’s Break, back to Washington D.C., Air Force One was boarded in the snow.
Washington D.C. is expected to receive up to 10 inches of fresh snow in the next few days
Jen Psaki (White House press secretary) cancelled Monday’s press briefing. Her last briefing occurred December 23 (above).
Psaki’s press conference was cancelled after the White House Correspondents Association decided that there would be fewer reporters in the White House press room press briefing area as Omicron variation of COVID continued to increase case numbers.
Washington D.C., which has one of the most high hospitalizations and cases in the United States, is now a major hot spot. Maryland and Virginia have high cases, but the DC suburbs suffer the most severe spikes.
‘Given the virulence of the spread, medical experts have once again advised that it would be prudent to substantially reduce the number of people working in the cramped, poorly ventilated workspace that we share,’ WHCA president Steven Portnoy wrote in a message to correspondents on Sunday evening.
To maintain social distance and contain COVID, 49 of the seats have been reduced from the briefing area to 14.
Reporters have been encouraged by the correspondents’ association to use N95 masks when reporting on the White House. The reporters covering President Joe Biden reported on a couple of breakthrough cases.
The arrangement will be reviewed by the WHCA and updated COVID numbers later in the month. If the seating is to be retained, the WHCA may decide to change it.
On March 16, 2020, the White House placed severe limitations on the capacity of the press room. This was after the outbreak caused by pandemics in the United States. The capacity of the press room increased by 50 percent to 24 seats on May 24. The room was able to regain full capacity by June 2021.
The White House receives snow Monday
As snow falls on Washington D.C., the White House
The federal government was shut down by snow on Monday, just above the White House during the snowfall
In the meantime, due to increasing COVID cases, the White House briefing room’s capacity of 49 people will now hold 14 reporters (psaki reports a room with fewer capacity on March 4).
When the country was under lockdown due to COVID, Donald Trump’s administration reduced the capacity of its press room. The normal capacity returned in June 2021.
Schools in the Capitol Region were also closed due to snow accumulation.
The National Weather Service issued an advisory for DC, recommending that the area be monitored until at least 4 p.m. ET.
Nearly half of flights were either cancelled or delayed by Ronald Reagan national Airport, Baltimore/Washington airport and Washington Dulles airport.