The White House press corps has been bugged.
The departure of the charter plane ferrying members of the press corps to Europe to cover President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip was delayed for seven hours overnight after cicadas “invaded the engine and caused mechanical issues,” the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
The plane was set to take off from from Dulles International Airport in Virginia at 9 p.m., but it didn’t leave until nearly 4 a.m.
“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,” Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire wrote on Twitter.
Just before 4 a.m., he wrote: “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
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins 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
The pesky bugs are everywhere in the Washington, D.C., area, having emerged after a 17-year slumber.
Below is the president’s schedule, according to the White House:
Thursday, June 10, 2021
The president will meet with The Right Honorable Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Friday, June 11, 2021
The president will attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall. There, he will reinforce our commitment to multilateralism, work to advance key U.S. policy priorities on public health, economic recovery, and inclusive growth, and demonstrate solidarity and shared values among major democracies.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
The president will attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
The president will attend the final day of the G7 Summit in Cornwall.
The president and the first lady will meet with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
The president will travel to Brussels, Belgium.
Monday, June 14, 2021
The president will participate in the NATO Summit. The president will affirm the United States’ commitment to NATO, Transatlantic security, and collective defense. NATO leaders will discuss how to orient the Alliance to future threats and ensure effective burden sharing.
The president will also meet with His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of the Republic of Turkey, to discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
The president will meet with His Majesty King Philippe, King of the Belgians, and His Excellency Alexander De Croo, prime minister of Belgium.
The president will participate in the U.S.–EU Summit, which will underscore our commitment to a strong Transatlantic partnership based on shared interests and values. The leaders will discuss a common agenda to ensure global health security, stimulate global economic recovery, tackle climate change, enhance digital and trade cooperation, strengthen democracy, and address mutual foreign policy concerns.
The president will travel to Geneva, Switzerland.
The president will meet with His Excellency Guy Parmelin, president of the Swiss Confederation.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
The president will hold a bilateral summit with His Excellency Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation.