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Trump plans virtual G7 instead of Camp David Summit because of virus

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks next to President Donald Trump during a press briefing on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic with members of the Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Donald Trump will hold this June’s Group of Seven meeting by video conference rather than hosting world leaders at Camp David as world leaders grapple with the coronavirus outbreak, the White House said Thursday.

“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.

“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.”

Leaders in the G7 held a video conference on Monday to discuss their response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has rocked the global economy and left thousands dead. Trump had originally hoped to hold the conference at his Doral resort in Florida before moving it to Camp David amid bipartisan criticism.

A White House official said the decision to conduct the meeting via teleconference was in accordance with mitigation measures suggested by public health authorities, and would allow countries to devote resources they might have otherwise spent on their delegations traveling to the U.S. for combating coronavirus.

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© 2020 Bloomberg News

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