President Joe Biden’s scheduled events, including a meeting with the NATO secretary general, had to be postponed on Monday because he underwent a dental root canal with little advance public notice.
The evening diplomatic reception and the intended meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “will be rescheduled for tomorrow,” the White House announced.
Biden had a root canal on a premolar tooth in his lower right jaw, according to a statement from presidential physician Kevin C. O’Connor.
The treatment was “completed,” according to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “The president is doing just fine, and he’ll be working in the residence this afternoon,” she added.
Despite the White House downplaying the incident, Biden is 80, making him the oldest president in history. His health is under scrutiny as he runs for re-election in 2024, which would make him 86 by the time he leaves office.
As Biden prepares for the NATO summit in Lithuania in July, the White House talks with the prime ministers of allies Britain and Denmark will follow the Stoltenberg meeting.
All eyes are now on the outcome of a much-touted Ukrainian offensive to liberate territory, in which the Western alliance is heavily involved in aiding Ukraine to defend itself against Russian invasion.
NATO must also decide on Stoltenberg’s replacement before the end of his term in October, which is a significant issue.