As President Joe Biden’s weekend visits back home to Delaware become more of a consistent habit, some wonder if he is leaving the White House to avoid the visitor logs required while in Washington.
While it is not unusual for presidents to spend time away from the White House, Biden’s travel records show that he regularly heads out on Fridays for weekends away. In his first 29 weeks in office, he has traveled for weekends at Camp David eight times and Wilmington 14 times.
His weekend pattern includes typically leaving Washington on Fridays and returning on Monday mornings. Biden’s weekend trips involve a “minimal number of staffers.”
The corporate media has predictably played down Biden’s weekend travel as opportunities to spend time with family and relax away from the pressures of Washington. Reporters also commonly cite his habit of traveling home to Delaware by train when he was in the Senate.
Some commentators have speculated about Biden’s need to travel away from the White House because of his declining health. Some of his earliest trips as president were to see his Delaware physician for treatment of the foot he fractured while playing with his dog. He also said that some of his time away during the catastrophic withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan was needed because he wasn’t sleeping well.
One theory is that the administration is using weekend travel to avoid everyday visitor log practices. The White House refused to release official visitor logs in the administration’s first months but began releasing batches of the records in May. However, visitors of the president outside of the White House have not been disclosed to the public.
Even though Biden ran for office with the promise of restoring “transparency and trust” in the federal government, the White House has remained highly secretive about who the president sees when he is out on weekends. In August, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that she could confirm that no information would be provided about “people visiting him in Delaware.”