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'Watch out for the cicadas': Biden takes a hit to the neck as he departs for foreign trip

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As President Joe Biden on Wednesday prepared to depart for his first foreign trip since assuming office — a week-long tour of western Europe during which he will engage both American allies and adversaries — the commander in chief came into contact with an emergent domestic rival on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews.

Chatting with a uniformed military officer before boarding Air Force One, en route to a Royal Air Force station in England, the president could be seen swatting a sizable insect from his neck. Biden’s gesture interrupted his conversation with the service member as both men diverted their gazes to the ground, where the bug had apparently landed.

The president proceeded to flash a wave to reporters before strolling over to the assembled press pool with a warning: “Watch out for the cicadas.”

The episode marked the second time in less than 24 hours that the loud, red-eyed pest had intruded upon White House operations in the run-up to Biden’s European travel. On Tuesday night, the charter plane meant to carry the press corps for the president’s trip was grounded for roughly five hours at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport due to mechanical problems caused by the cicadas.

The intrusions from the insects come as potentially trillions of Brood X cicadas are surfacing from underground after 17 years, inundating as many as 15 states and currently staking their claim in the greater Washington, D.C., area. On Wednesday morning, however, their population decreased by exactly one, according to the president.

“I just got one,” Biden told reporters before venturing across the Atlantic. “It got me.”

This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.