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Biden has root canal treatment, cancels NATO meet, other events

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By Trevor Hunnicutt

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

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

“The President tolerated the procedure well,” the physician, Kevin O’Connor, wrote about the previously undisclosed treatment. “There were no complications.”

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

Biden was not expected to be anesthetized and will not need to transfer his powers to Vice President Kamala Harris under the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution during the procedure, a White House official said.

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

The meeting with Stoltenberg and the reception were rescheduled for Tuesday.

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

Biden, 80, is the oldest person to serve as U.S. president and both his age and health have been a focus of voters as he plans to seek 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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