A large group of cicadas moving in led to some issues for the White House press corps on Wednesday. The take-off of the charter plane that sought to carry the members of the press corps to Europe so they could cover Uncle Joe’s first trip to foreign lands was delayed for about seven hours after the cicadas “invaded the engine and caused mechanical issues,” reported the Daily Mail.
Set to take off from Dulles International Airport in Virginia at 9 p.m., the plane was unable to leave the tarmac until almost 4 a.m. the next day.
“The White House press charter, flying from Dulles to Europe ahead of President Biden, has been delayed for hours — due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas. Yes. Cicadas,” tweeted Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press White House reporter.
At nearly 4.a.m. Lemire tweeted: “And after a delay of nearly 7 hours, we’re finally wheels up to the UK and the G7. Stupid cicadas.”
And after a delay of nearly 7 hours, we’re finally wheels up to the UK and the G7
Stupid cicadas https://t.co/lpZktUXUpf
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 9, 2021
Kaitlan Collins, CNN Chief White House Correspondent, also tweeted: “No, @JonLemire isn’t kidding, the White House press charter for the foreign trip is delayed several hours because of cicada-related mechanical issues.”
No, @JonLemire isn’t kidding, the White House press charter for the foreign trip is delayed several hours because of cicada-related mechanical issues.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 9, 2021
As reported by NPR, the President’s schedule, as stated by the White House, is as follows:
Thursday, June 10: Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet to talk about bilateral issues. Climate, trade and Northern Ireland are expected to be on the agenda.
Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12: G7 in Cornwall
It’s the first time the leaders of the world’s biggest economies will get together in person since the pandemic. The leaders are expected to talk about recovery from the pandemic, and Biden will be trying to marshal support for helping poorer countries get more COVID-19 vaccine doses — something the United States is only just beginning to do itself. Former President Donald Trump had a rough relationship with several G7 leaders — notably Germany’s Angela Merkel and Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Biden will try to mend fences, and is expected to hold bilateral meetings with leaders on the sidelines of the summit’s group sessions.
Sunday, June 13: The Queen
After the G7 concludes, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Queen Elizabeth II, before traveling on to Brussels.
The Queen will meet the President of the United States of America and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle on Sunday, 13th June 2021. pic.twitter.com/GPJLYwFzyr
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 3, 2021
Monday, June 14: NATO
Biden will meet NATO allies at their first summit since 2018. Biden is expected to provide reassurance that the U.S. is committed to the alliance after difficult years when Trump fought with them to boost military spending. Amanda Sloat, the European director on the White House National Security Council, said Friday that aggressive Russian actions in the region would be discussed, as well as the “strategic challenge” from China, cyber threats, climate change and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Biden will also meet on the sidelines with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for what could be a difficult conversation after Biden’s April declaration that the mass slaughter of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks more than a century ago was a genocide.
Tuesday, June 15: EU, trade and technology
This will be the first U.S.-EU Summit since 2014. There are some thorny topics: the Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs, and longstanding disputes over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. Technology policy could be in the spotlight as well. “There’s also a lot of things in the technology space that we have the opportunity now to work closely with our European friends on in terms of addressing 5G security, emerging technology, setting standards, technology regulation,” Sloat said.
Wednesday, June 16: Russia
Biden has said he wants to establish a more “stable, predictable relationship” when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva at the end of his trip. But he has also said he will raise many contentious issues, including Russia’s incursions in Ukraine, interference in foreign elections, the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, the SolarWinds hack, and ransomware attacks by Russia-based groups on a major U.S. pipeline and JBS, a major meat supplier. Their meeting will be the first stand-alone U.S.-Russia summit since 2018, when Trump sided with Putin in Helsinki when the Russian leader denied meddling in the 2016 election.