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Biden sits with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a dinner at the prime minister's residence in 2010, in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden spoke on the phone today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one month after taking office.

Why it matters: In recent weeks, the White House faced questions over Biden’s decision to call the leaders of a dozen allies and world powers before calling Netanyahu. 

The White House denied that Biden was snubbing Netanyahu and said Biden hadn’t called as many leaders as he would have liked because of other pressing issues.

  • On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Netanyahu would be the first Middle Eastern leader to get a call from Biden.
  • Netanyahu has faced many questions himself on the delayed call and attempted to downplay the issue. 

Driving the news: Netanyahu’s office said the leaders spoke for an hour and had a friendly and warm conversation. 

Go deeper

No plans for Biden to address a joint session of Congress this month, White House says

Jen Psaki in the briefing room on Feb. 16. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There are no current plans for President Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Reporters pointed out that Biden said last month that his "first appearance before a joint session" would be held in February and would address his national coronavirus recovery plan. Psaki had said it "was never planned to be in February."

Updated Feb 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on schools: "The goal will be 5 days a week"

President Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden on Tuesday sought to clarify what his administration means by promising to open schools in the first 100 days of his presidency, insisting that "the goal will be five days a week."

The big picture: Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s definition for open schools was in-classroom instruction by a teacher “at least one day a week.”

2 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."