Trump cancels G7 meeting due to coronavirus

Trump cancels in-person meeting of G7 leaders at Camp David, will hold a video-conference instead.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

US President Donald Trump will cancel an in-person meeting of G7 leaders at Camp David in June because of the coronavirus and will hold a video-conference instead, the White House said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The decision comes as nations around the world seal their borders and ban travel to stop the spread of the virus.

Trump held a video-conference with the leaders of the world’s major industrialized countries earlier this week and plans to repeat that in April, May and June, when the physical meeting at the presidential retreat in Maryland was scheduled to take place.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has informed his counterparts about the move, according to Reuters.

“In order for each country to focus all of its resources on responding to the health and economic challenges of COVID-19 and at President Trump’s direction, National Economic Council Director and U.S. Sherpa for the 2020 G7 Larry Kudlow has informed his Sherpa colleagues that the G7 Leaders’ Summit the U.S. was set to host in June at Camp David will now be done by video-teleconference,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to Reuters.

“The White House also informed the other G7 members that in order to continue close coordination, the President will convene the Leaders’ via video teleconference in April and May just as he did this week,” he added.

Trump had intended to focus the G7 meeting on the economy, eschewing traditional topics that often top the agenda such as climate change. He initially planned to host the leaders’ group at one of his properties in Florida but canceled those plans after criticism that he would profit financially from the meeting.

The G7 is made up of the United States, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Britain as well as the European Union.

Earlier this week, Trump urged Americans to avoid traveling and gathering in public spaces in an effort to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, adding the outbreak could last into July or August.

Last Friday, Trump declared a national emergency to help handle the growing outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The action helps $50 billion flow to states fighting to contain the spread of the virus, which has infected almost 1,700 people.

Two days earlier he announced that the US would be suspending all travel from Europe. While Britain was initially not included in that directive, it was later added to the list of European countries from which travel was suspended.




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