London (CNN)Without setting foot outside the White House, US President Joe Biden arrived on the world stage Friday, not once but twice.
Biden joined virtual meetings in London and Munich, almost inconceivable before the pandemic, with the leaders of his biggest European allies, who also remained closeted in their capitals.
The President was bold. "America is back," he announced at the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC). And he was generous at a G7 leaders' meeting chaired by the UK, promising as much as $4 billion for the COVAX initiative, which aims to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
Yet even by the emerging standards of virtual summits there was a reassuring normality to it all. Last November, Biden's predecessor President Donald Trump unceremoniously left the virtual G20 world leaders global summit in Riyadh, then next came into sight a short time later playing golf at one of his resorts.
There was none of that on Friday. Everyone was happy to have a virtual Biden in their room, and he bathed in the luxuriant affection.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the President's host at his first virtual meeting, lathered on his particular brand of charm. "We also want to work together on building back better from the pandemic -- a slogan that I think Joe [Biden] has used several times. I think he may have nicked it from us, but I certainly nicked it from somewhere else," Johnson said, referencing the tagline Biden's team has used