Biden Ends Day at Noon Without Commenting on Americans Killed and Taken Hostage in Israel

The president's next public event is a Wednesday speech on 'Bidenomics'

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October 9, 2023

President Joe Biden ended his public schedule shortly before noon on Monday, without commenting on the nine American citizens killed in Israel by the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

The White House announced the "lid," which indicates Biden won't make any more public statements, at 11:46 a.m. Calling a "lid" signals to members of the White House press corps that they can leave for the day. It was a remarkable move given the White House's silence on the nine American citizens killed and indeterminate number of Americans taken hostage in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Neither the White House nor the State Department has provided details on the Americans' conditions.

The Biden White House has faced criticism for calling lids early in the day, as Republicans and Democrats express concerns that the almost-81-year-old president lacks the stamina for the job. Several polls find a large majority of Americans believe Biden is too old to be president.

Hamas on Saturday launched its surprise attack on Israel that has left more than 900 Israelis dead and thousands injured. The White House, following criticism from Republican lawmakers, released a statement that said Biden "directed his team to follow up on coordination with Israel on all aspects of the crisis and to continue their work with regional partners to warn anyone who might seek to take advantage in this situation." The statement also said Biden will be "speaking with several of our close allies" about developments in Israel.

The statement made no reference to the Americans murdered or taken hostage by Hamas. White House spokesman Andrew Bates did not respond to a request for a comment.

Shortly after the White House called its "lid," Hamas said it would broadcast the execution of its hostages. At least 150 civilians and members of the Israel Defense Forces are believed to be held captive in Gaza.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country is now "at war" and has ordered an invasion of Gaza, where Hamas operates. At least 300,000 reservists in the Israeli military have been mobilized.

Biden on Sunday evening attended a White House picnic, which featured a live band and food for staff. There are no public White House events scheduled until Wednesday, when Biden will travel to Philadelphia to tout his "Bidenomics" agenda.