Five weeks in office, Biden has missed his former boss, Barack Obama, in several areas, and is under pressure to do more to restore confidence in the federal government following Trump’s chaotic tenure in the White House.
Among the criticisms: Schedules for the president and vice president are not posted online. The White House comment line is closed. There are no citizen petitions on the White House website. The White House has promised to publish visitor logs. But he does not plan to release the names of those attending virtual meetings, which are the main mode of interaction until the coronavirus pandemic is alleviated.
And while Biden has received praise for keeping the American public informed, primarily by resuming daily White House press conferences, he has yet to hold a press conference of his own.
“The steps they have taken are welcome, but insufficient for the time and need,” said Alex Howard, an open government advocate who leads the Digital Democracy Project at the Demand Progress Education Fund, an arm of a left-wing group. “They need to continue to ‘show their work’ by opening cabinet meetings, revealing information and using political capital to emphasize that being ‘open by default’ is not just an option but an obligation across government.”