Blame the cicadas.
“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, a White House reporter for the Associated Press, informed his Twitter followers late Tuesday night. “Yes. Cicadas.”
Reporters traveling to the U.K. for Biden’s first overseas trip as POTUS were ultimately delayed seven hours. As of Wednesday morning, it hadn’t been made clear exactly how the cicadas were able to disrupt the plane’s plans. Per the AP, however, the decision was later made to swap the plane out for a different one. The flight was confirmed to have taken off shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Depending on your tolerance for bug-centered news, you may or may not be fully aware of the current cicadas situation, particularly for those in areas like D.C. where an invasion of Brood X cicadas has become daily fodder. In the Baltimore-Washington region, for example, the amount of cicadas is large enough to show up on weather radar as “fuzziness,” i.e. low reflectivity values:
Earlier this month, the FDA was generous enough with their time to offer up a warning for those who are planning to ingest cicadas this year. Per the FDA, cicadas should not be consumed by someone who is allergic to seafood due to the fact the insects “share a family relation” to shrimp and lobsters.