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Cicadas delay White House press ahead of Biden overseas trip

By The Associated Press
Posted 10:12AM on Wednesday 9th June 2021 ( 1 month ago )

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom for President Joe Biden's first overseas trip were delayed seven hours after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas.

The Washington, D.C., area is among the many parts of the country that have been swarmed by Brood X cicadas, a large emergence of the loud 17-year insects that take to dive-bombing onto moving vehicles and unsuspecting passersby.

Even Biden wasn’t spared. The president brushed a cicada from the back of his neck as he chatted with his Air Force greeter after arriving at Joint Base Andrews for Wednesday’s flight.

“Watch out for the cicadas,” Biden then told reporters. “I just got one. It just got me.”

It was unclear how cicadas disrupted the mechanics of the press plane. Weather and crew rest issues also contributed to the flight delay late Tuesday. Ultimately, the plane was swapped for another one, and the flight took off shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

The press plane is arranged with the assistance of the White House and carries journalists at their expense. There was not expected to be any impact on news coverage of Biden's visit.

Adult cicadas cover a plant, Monday, May 17, 2021, at Woodend Sanctuary and Mansion, in Chevy Chase, Md. Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom ahead of President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip were delayed seven hours late Tuesday after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas.The Washington, D.C. area is among the many parts of the country suffering under the swarm of Brood X, a large emergence of the loud 17-year insects that take to dive-bombing onto moving vehicles and unsuspecting passersby. Weather and crew rest issues also contributed to the flight delay.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Joe Biden pantomimes how he earlier had to brush a cicada off his neck as he and first lady Jill Biden prepare to board Air Force One, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Joe Biden brushes a cicada from his neck as he and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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