US President Donald Trump said Thursday a possible in-person G7 meeting in June would “primarily” occur at the White House with the possibility of events held at a nearby presidential retreat.
“If we do the G7, when that all comes together, probably it will be in D.C. at the White House,” Trump told reporters using a nickname for the US capital.
He added, however, that “a part of it” could still be held at Camp David, after saying Wednesday that was his venue of choice for the meeting. He originally wanted to have the event at his Florida golf course, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced a change of course.
"It looks like the G7 will be on," Trump on south lawn at Michigan departure. He says if G7 leaders gather in person, the meeting would probably happen at the White House, with maybe some piece at Camp David.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 21, 2020
Nations around the world continue to grapple with the virus, which has led to the deaths of nearly 330,000 people and crippled the global economy.
It is unclear how G7 leaders would respond to the president’s overture. Following his comments Wednesday, most leaders who spoke publicly about the matter were largely noncommittal.
Trump adamant at hosting G7 meeting to project normalcy
Mr. Trump is determined to signal a return to normal and resuscitate the battered economy. And initial statements from several G7 members did not rule out the idea of an in-person summit. The virtual meeting is scheduled for June 10-12.
Soon after Mr. Trump’s tweet, the White House said in a statement that he had spoken to President Emmanuel Macron of France, and told him, among other things, “that the United States looks forward to convening the G7 soon.”
A French diplomatic source said later that Mr. Macron “is prepared to travel to Camp David,” health conditions permitting, and Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, seemed to be open to the idea.
“Hosting arrangements for the G7 are a matter for the country that holds the current G7 presidency,” a representative for the British government said. “We’re in close contact with the U.S. in the run-up to the summit.”
Holding the summit would underscore Mr. Trump’s message that America can now reopen on the assumption that the worst of the coronavirus crisis has passed
The United States: ravaged by the coronavirus
The US has the worst coronavirus outbreak worldwide, with about 30% of all confirmed cases and the highest known death toll of any nation, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Currently, the United States has 1.61 million of the global 5.08 million infected people. The US has seen 95,000 deaths so far. The only silver lining for Americans is the fact that 308,000 people have recovered from the disease.
All about the G7 meeting
G7 stands for “Group of Seven” industrialized nations.
The group includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, France and Italy. Together, the G7 countries represent 40% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population. The United States currently holds the presidency of the Group of 7 industrialized nations.
The European Union has been involved in G7 work since 1977, and is represented at the summit by the President of the European Commission (the E.U.’s executive branch) Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. The E.U. has gradually been included in all political discussions on the agenda despite not having official member status.
This would have been Juncker’s last G7, as he is soon to be replaced by his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, following the European elections that took place in May. However, on Monday it was announced that Juncker will not travel to Biarritz for the summit since he needs to continue his recovery after having had emergency surgery at the weekend.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk