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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. Jill Biden's "Love" jacket. And an updating of the Atlantic Charter that briefly let President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson channel FDR and Winston Churchill.

The big picture: Joe Biden's first foreign trip as U.S. president is a carefully-managed mix of multilateralism and message discipline so far — and a deliberate contrast to his predecessor's M.O. on the international stage.

Why it matters: We're still in the off-Broadway soft opening ahead of next week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Be smart: Biden isn't Donald Trump. We already knew that. But the scheduling and visual cues of this trip are driving that message home.

  • It's old friends first for Biden — and coalitions over unilateralism and bilateralism. He has G7 events today (Friday) through the weekend in the U.K., then NATO and the European Union meetings in Brussels, before his June 16 session with Putin in Geneva.
  • In 2017, Trump shook things up by making Saudi Arabia the first stop of his debut foreign trip — remember that ceremonial sword dance. He also criticized NATO members for not paying "their fair share," and left G7 members hanging on the Paris climate deal.
  • The jacket First Lady Jill Biden wore on Thursday — with the word "Love" stitched in beads across the back — drew immediate comparisons with the jacket that Melania Trump wore in 2018 en route to a child migrant center, with, "I Really Don't Care, Do U?" in white lettering across its back.
  • Biden travels old-school: a newspaper tucked under his arm as he heads to his aircraft, and a notebook in hand for his meetings with leaders.

What we're watching: Aides to Biden, 78, have kept his events and pacing manageable in a way reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's travel in the 1980s.

  • Aides to Reagan —then the oldest American to assume the presidency — would ensure he was rested and ready on long trips to Asia by making stops in his home state of California or the mid-Pacific way station of Hawaii.
  • Biden has since assumed the mantle as oldest president. He made a daytime flight to Europe on Wednesday but on Thursday had nothing on his public schedule until mid-afternoon — a buffer against jet lag.
  • One tradition from his days as vice president was an overseas stop at the Shannon Airport in Ireland, where he'd hit the duty-free shop while the smaller plane refueled. But his Air Force One departure took him straight from Joint Base Andrews to RAF Mildenhall.

Go deeper

Swing voters' split feelings about Afghanistan

An Afghanistan flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 28. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Some swing voters say they're deeply disappointed with the execution of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yes, but: They don't believe former President Trump would have handled it better than President Biden, and the issue is far less important to them than getting the pandemic under control.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker