The episode marked the second time in less than 24 hours that the noisy red-eyed pest had entered White House operations in the run-up to Biden’s trip to Europe. On Tuesday evening, the charter plane intended to carry the press for the president’s trip was grounded for about five hours at Dulles International Airport in Virginia due to mechanical problems caused by the cicadas.
The insect intrusions come as trillions of Brood X cicadas surface from the basement after 17 years, inundating up to 15 states and currently claiming their rights in the greater Washington, DC area. As of Wednesday morning, however, their population declined by exactly one, according to the president.
“I just got one,” Biden told reporters before venturing across the Atlantic. “It got me.”