President Joe Biden and first lady Jill left the White House on Wednesday on the way to Europe for the G7, a meeting with the Queen and his summit with Vladimir Putin.
Officials have billed the trip as a coming out party for a new administration intent on rebuilding alliances after the Trump years but it will come as a welcome relief to a president a day after the collapse infrastructure talks with Republicans and amid intense criticism of Kamala Harris‘ trip to Guatemala and Mexico.
As he left Joint Base Andrews he swatted away a cicada that landed on his neck and told reporters he will be announcing a vaccine plan for the world.
‘I have one, and I’ll be announcing it,’ he said before boarding Air Force One.
Biden and Jill are expected to land at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk to meet US troops on Wednesday night as they kick off an eight-day trip to Europe.
He will then meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, where the pair will affirm their special relationship, discuss global vaccine strategies and discuss reopening travel corridors.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill left the White House on Wednesday on the way to Europe for the G7, a meeting with the Queen and his summit with Vladimir Putin
They jetted off for the president’s first foreign trip with his administration facing the fallout of the collapse of his infrastructure talks with Republicans and amid intense criticism over Kamala Harris’ trip to Guatemala and Mexico
The president will then prepare to meet with the rest of the G7 leaders on Saturday in St.Ives in the first major face-to-face summit between world leaders in two years.
He will then head to Brussels to meet with NATO leaders and the European Union before his highly-anticipated summit with Vladimir Putin on June 16.
Biden’s hopes of passing his much-touted infrastructure bill now rest on a bipartisan group of senators after direct talks with Republicans collapsed.
Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican representing West Virginia, had been liaising with the White House over the bill.
But their talks collapsed on Tuesday after they’d tentatively bargained $928 billion worth of infrastructure improvements.
Schedule for President Biden’s Europe Trip
President Joe Biden makes a seven-day trip to Europe next week. Here’s the itinerary thus far:
June 9: Visit US Air Force personnel and their families stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall
June 10: Meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
June 11-13: Attending G7 Summit in Cornwall
June 13: He and Dr. Jill Biden meet with The Queen at Windsor Castle
June 14: NATO Summit in Brussels
June 15: U.S.–EU Summit in Brussels
June 16: Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva
Ahead of his trip, Biden is facing increasing criticism for not nominating ambassadors to more than 90 ambassadors, including a representative to the UK.
Many in the diplomatic world expected Biden to name his British ambassador – one of the poshest postings in the diplomatic world – by Thursday’s G7 meeting.
The president has named a series of career diplomats to lower level ambassadorial postings, including Bahrain, Somalia, and Algeria. But no one has been nominated for the London position nor any other top destination, such as France, Israel, Russia, China or the European Union.
‘It is embarrassing that six months into office we still have over ninety embassies without ambassadors,’ Brett Bruen, former US Diplomat and Director of Global Engagement at the Obama White House, told DailyMail.com.
Biden held off on foreign travel due to the coronavirus pandemic but is making up for it with this trip that includes meetings with foreign leaders, Queen Elizabeth II, the king of Belgium, and his Russian counterpart.
First lady Jill Biden will join him for the British portion of the trip but will return to the United States after the first couple meets with the Queen at Windsor Castle next Sunday.
Biden will be the 13th American president the Queen has met since ascending to the throne in 1953.
There is speculation that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also meet the American couple at some point during their visit to the UK.
At his sit down with Johnson, Biden will ‘affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement last week.
Biden and Johnson have spoken on the phone multiple times since Biden was elected president.
Biden and Jill are expected to land on Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall to meet US troops in Suffolk on Wednesday night as they kick off an eight-day trip to Europe
‘There’s a range of issues of mutual interest,’ Psaki said Thursday at her White House press briefing when asked about the sit down. ‘From the future of economic growth in the world to addressing the COVID pandemic to security issues around the world so they have a range of topics they can clearly discuss.’
Johnson will also ask the American president to exempt vaccinated British and American travellers from quarantine restrictions to facilitate travel between the two nations.
The pair board Marine One on the way to Joint Base Andrews where they will catch the flight to the UK for the first leg of their trip
The PM wants to create a ‘green channel’ for those fully vaccinated, The Times reported, as the summer holiday season approaches.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday declined to say when travel restrictions might be eased.
‘This is a process being driven by science and public health guidance and so it is ultimately up to the public health professionals in the US government to make that determination,’ he said.
‘We have heard very clearly, the desire of our friends in Europe and in the UK, to be able to reopen travel across the Atlantic. And we want to see that happen. But we have to follow the science and we have to follow the guidance of our public health professionals so we’re actively engaging with them to determine the timeframe, and I can’t give him a date today but I will tell you that we recognize the concern and we are fundamentally being guided by objective analysis,’ he added.
Afterward the meeting with Johnson, Biden will attend the G7 summit, where he will hold bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders. The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
After his meeting with The Queen, Biden will travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in in a NATO meeting and an EU Summit.