Biden has root canal, cancels NATO meeting and other events

By Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden is rescheduling a meeting with the NATO chief and skipping his other public events on Monday to undergo his second root canal surgery in as many days, the White House said.

Biden reported dental pain on Sunday, prompting an X-ray examination and root canal treatment by a team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to a letter from his doctor that was distributed to the press.

“The president tolerated the procedure well,” wrote the doctor, Kevin O’Connor, of the previously undisclosed treatment. “There were no complications.”

After feeling more pain on Monday, which O’Connor said was expected, his medical team planned to “complete the president’s root canal today” at the White House.

Biden was not to be anesthetized and will not need to transfer his powers to Vice President Kamala Harris under the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution during the proceedings, a White House official has said.

Biden is postponing or skipping three public events on Monday: a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a reception for diplomatic staff and an event celebrating college athletes.

The meeting with Stoltenberg and the reception have been postponed until Tuesday.

Harris attended the college athletic event in place of Biden, where she made no mention of his absence.

Biden, 80, is the oldest person to serve as president of the United States and his age and health have been the focus of voters’ concerns as he plans to run for a second four-year term in the 2024 presidential election.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)

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