US replaces G7 Summit with video-conference

Washington, March 20 (IANS) The US has cancelled the Group of Seven (G7) Summit, originally scheduled to take place at Camp David in June, due to the coronavirus pandemic and replaced the in-person meeting of world leaders with video-conference.

“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 (Donald) 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 Hill news website quoted White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere as saying in a statement on Thursday.

“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.

The G7 leaders held a videoconference earlier this week and pledged to “use all policy tools” to forcefully address the economic impact of the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

All G7 members have been coping with the spread of COVID-19.

Italy, the hardest-hit member, reported 427 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, raising the death toll to 3,405, even higher than the fatalities in mainland China, where the virus had first emerged last December.

According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, there are currently more than 13,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, with 176 deaths.

On Friday, the global number of confirmed cases increased to 231,584 with a total of 9,819 deaths. These figures include the China tally.



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