Biden postpones Monday events, including meeting with NATO chief, for unplanned root canal

Biden postpones Monday events, including meeting with NATO chief, for unplanned root canal

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Joe Biden leaves Holy Trinity Catholic Church within the Georgetown part of Washington, after attending Mass, Saturday, June 10, 2023. (AP Photograph/Manuel Balce Ceneta)


President Joe Biden was pressured to cancel his schedule Monday – together with talks with NATO’s outgoing secretary common – due to an unplanned root canal.

The president first started experiencing ache in a decrease premolar on Sunday. His doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, mentioned a group from Walter Reed Nationwide Navy Medical Middle carried out an examination, together with x-rays, and beneficial the basis canal process. The group carried out the preliminary a part of the basis canal on Sunday.

After “additional discomfort this morning,” O’Connor wrote in a memo, the endodontal specialty group deliberate to finish the basis canal process on the White Home on Monday. O’Connor mentioned the discomfort was anticipated.

The president’s group was not planning to make use of common anesthesia for the process and the twenty fifth Modification transferring energy to the vp was not invoked, a White Home official mentioned.

The operation is just not Biden’s first root canal; when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee within the Nineties, he underwent middle-of-the-night procedures throughout Supreme Court docket affirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas.

Three many years later, Biden was pressured to scrap a sequence of occasions Monday to permit for the dental work. That included a ceremony for school athletes on the South Garden, which was hosted as a substitute by Vice President Kamala Harris, and a night reception for diplomats.

His assembly with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg was postponed till Tuesday, based on the White Home. Hovering over the sit-down will probably be a personnel subject: Who will change the outgoing NATO chief when he departs his submit later this 12 months?

Biden hasn’t but settled on a candidate to assist to switch Stoltenberg, a senior US official mentioned. The job historically goes to a European, however requires the backing of the American president – NATO’s largest and strongest member.

Leaders are anticipated to try to coalesce round a brand new chief at July’s NATO summit in Lithuania, which means Biden should make up his thoughts quickly on who to again.

He’s already acquired a pitch on United Kingdom Protection Minister Ben Wallace from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak throughout an Oval Workplace assembly final week. An individual aware of the matter mentioned Sunak entered the assembly ready to promote Biden on Wallace, although afterward Biden advised reporters he wasn’t but satisfied.

“We’re going to need to get a consensus inside NATO to see that occur,” he mentioned, calling the UK candidate “very certified.”

A senior British official mentioned forward of the assembly final week that “it’s necessary that the subsequent NATO secretary common carries on Stoltenberg’s good work of modernization but in addition understands the significance of protection spending at a crucial time.”

That may very well be thought to be a possible knock on contenders from nations that haven’t met the NATO pledge of spending 2% of gross home product on protection budgets — a gaggle that features Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, with whom Biden met within the Oval Workplace final week.

Some European diplomats speculated her go to to the White Home was a chance for Biden and his group to sound her out concerning the high NATO job.

Frederiksen mentioned afterward she didn’t wish to speculate concerning the potential of heading up the navy alliance. She declined to say whether or not it was mentioned with Biden within the Oval Workplace.

That hasn’t quieted hypothesis she could also be in a number one place to earn Biden’s endorsement for the job. The alliance has by no means beforehand been led by a girl, an element that might play into Biden’s pondering.

Different candidates for NATO secretary common may embody Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, based on diplomats.

Stoltenberg’s time period ends in October, and his spokesperson has mentioned he’ll go away then, although his tenure has been prolonged 3 times already. He had been anticipated to take up a submit as head of Norway’s central financial institution, however gave up the job to remain on as secretary common final 12 months.

He has led the alliance by way of one in all its most consequential intervals following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bloc has remained remarkably united in offering Kyiv navy and financial help.

It’s additionally expanded, with Finland and Sweden each taking steps to hitch. The 2 international locations have traditionally remained unaligned, however Russia’s aggression prompted a change of coronary heart.

Finland’s membership was finalized in April, however Turkey has remained immune to Sweden becoming a member of the protection alliance. Leaders hope the roadblock will probably be resolved forward of the NATO summit in July.

CORRECTION: An earlier model of this story incorrectly said that Stoltenberg was anticipating to develop into the pinnacle of Norway’s central financial institution. He gave up the job to remain at NATO final 12 months.

This story has been up to date with extra developments.


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