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Cicadas delay White House press ahead of Biden overseas trip

Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom for the president’s first overseas trip were delayed seven hours.
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 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
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 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. [ PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP ]
Published Jun. 9
Updated Jun. 9

WASHINGTON — 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 his shoulder as he chatted up his traveling press corps before he boarded Air Force One for the flight to Europe.

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“Watch out for the cicadas,” Biden said.

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.