Biden flicks away cicada: ‘It got me’
A pesky cicada appeared to hit President Biden in the neck on Wednesday as he prepared to depart on his first foreign trip of his administration.
Video showed Biden standing outside at Joint Base Andrews chatting near first lady Jill Biden when he swiped at one of the bugs near his neck.
Biden was talking to his Air Force greeter when the insect made its presence known, according to The Associated Press.
“Watch out for the cicadas,” Biden later told nearby reporters. “I just got one. It got me.”
President Biden: “Watch out for the cicadas. I just got one – it got me.” pic.twitter.com/jfrik4bgpB
— The Hill (@thehill) June 9, 2021
President Biden gets the cicada treatment on the way to Europe pic.twitter.com/ywthb2hIJy
— The Recount (@therecount) June 9, 2021
Biden’s trip is set to include three stops in Europe: the United Kingdom for a Group of Seven meeting, Belgium for a NATO summit and Switzerland for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But Biden wasn’t the only Washington-area target for the bugs this week; the White House press plane traveling from Dulles International Airport to Europe for Biden’s trip was grounded on Tuesday and delayed for several hours due to the swarming cicadas.
The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, but it was delayed until 2:15 a.m. on Wednesday. The insects apparently filled the airplane’s engine, and White House aides were forced to look for an alternative method of getting reporters to Europe to cover Biden’s overseas trip.
News of the flight delay was first shared by Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire.
“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,” Lemire tweeted.
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
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 8, 2021
Trillions of Brood X cicadas are swarming across the Eastern U.S. this year. The insects live underground for 17 years before emerging to breed and lay eggs. However, there are varying generations and cycles for the bugs.