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Coronavirus: Trump could hold G7 meeting at Camp David in person

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  • Donald Trump has said the US could after all hold a June meeting in the US of world leaders, after initially cancelling the meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The US President tweeted: “I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David. The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!”
  • Trump’s push for a physical meeting comes as he looks to reopen America’s economy, despite concerns from health experts that easing lockdown restrictions too quickly threaten the country’s ability to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A final decision on whether to press ahead with a physical meeting would be made in the coming days, a White House official told the Associated Press.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump has revived the idea of holding a June meeting in the US of world leaders, after initially cancelling the meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The US President on Wednesday tweeted: “I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David. The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!”

Trump in March cancelled the physical Group of Seven summit, which was scheduled for June 10 to June 12 at Camp David, the presidential retreat, due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

He said the annual meeting — which comprises the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US — would take place instead by video conference.

But Trump’s push for a physical meeting comes as he looks to reopen America’s economy, despite concerns from health experts that easing lockdown restrictions too quickly threaten the country’s ability to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Anthony Fauci, a disease expert who has helped lead the US response to the coronavirus pandemic, warned earlier this week that reopening the economy would have serious health implications for the country.

“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically will set you back,” he said.

The US has already recorded more Covid-19 deaths than any other country, with over 93,000 having died with the disease, according to John Hopkins University.

A White House official told the Associated Press that if the meeting were to go ahead, the US would request that delegations were pared back to a minimum, with spouses not invited.

A final decision on whether to press ahead with a physical meeting would be made in the coming days, the official added. The rescheduled meeting would likely take place towards the end of June, a White House official told the Associated Press.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, is open to travelling to the US in June if health conditions allow it after discussing the issue with Trump on a phone call, his office said on Wednesday.

“He’s open, he’s even willing to go there, but obviously with this caveat: only if the sanitary conditions allow,” an Élysée Palace official said on Wednesday, according to French broadcaster France24.

Angela Merkel also indicated that she would be willing to attend the meeting in person.

“Whatever form the G7 meeting takes, whether it’s a video conference or otherwise, I will definitely fight for multilateralism, that’s very clear, both in the G7 and the G20,” she said, according to the Associated Press.

Pressed on whether she would actually attend in person, she said: “I chose my words with care.”

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, said he would consider the idea but needed further details on the safety measures being proposed.

“We’ll certainly take a look at what the U.S. is proposing as host of the G7 to see what kind of measures will be in place to keep people safe, what kind of recommendations the experts are giving in terms of how that might function,” Trudeau said, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC.

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