Instead of guests attending the summit in person, the White House has confirmed President Trump will hold a videoconference.
Trump held a videoconference with the leaders of the world’s major industrialized countries earlier this week and plans to repeat that in April, May and June.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement 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 US Sherpa for the 2020 G7 Larry Kudlow has informed his Sherpa colleagues that the G7 Leaders’ Summit the US was set to host in June at Camp David will now be done by video-teleconference,’
“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 said.
The change comes as part of the White House’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus.
The G7 summit is normally attended by large delegations from each country along with floods of press.
Trump intends to focus this year’s summit on the economy and will avoid past traditionally dominating issues such as climate change.
The US President 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 summit was moved to Camp David, which Trump has seldom used, after outcry over plans to hold it at Trump’s own Doral resort outside Miami.
The G7 is made up of the United States, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Britain as well as the European Union.
Trump’s decision to institute a travel ban on EU citizens still remains contreversial after the decision was made without first alerting European leaders.
An EU diplomat previously spoke out about the decision shortly after Trump’s televised announcement, claiming there was “no heads up” for the EU.
Mr Trump said: “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.”
The US President accused European leaders of failing to take the same precautions to restrict travel from China and other hotspots as his administration had done.
Europe has now become the epicenter of the coronavirus with Italy overtaking China as the country with the most Covid-19 related deaths.
Italy’s death toll currently stands at 3,405.
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