Trump Skips Coronavirus Meeting With G20 Leaders To Play Golf
US President Donald Trump chose golf over a coronavirus meeting with G20 leaders.
At the time of writing, the US has seen more than 12.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 256,000 deaths. It is the worst-affected country in the world.
In addition to a previous lack of enthusiasm for G20 events, the ‘lame duck’ POTUS has been frequently criticised in regards to the pandemic.
Yesterday, November 21, world leaders met virtually for the G20 summit. Trump appeared earlier in the morning, joining the rest of the leaders on a screen.
However, later in the day, a side-event based on pandemic preparedness had been organised. It was intended to ‘foster international cooperation and to find solutions that protect people’s lives and livelihoods,’ CNN reports.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and several other world leaders were expected to make remarks. However, an hour before the event was set to kick off, Trump arrived at his golf course in Virginia.
As recently as last night, Trump tweeted: ‘The Fake News is not talking about the fact that ‘Covid’ is running wild all over the World, not just in the US. I was at the Virtual G-20 meeting early this morning and the biggest subject was Covid. We will be healing fast, especially with our vaccines!’
His G20 attendance was quickly diluted by NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake, who quote-tweeted: ‘The President did attend the opening of the virtual G20 this morning… then skipped the side meeting with other world leaders that followed, which was entirely focused on pandemic preparedness and response, and went golfing.’
Trump also accused the ‘fake news’ of ‘forgetting to mention that far fewer people are dying’ from the virus, despite the fluctuating death rate being a matter of constant discussion.
The countries attending G20 ‘represent around 80% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of global population and three-quarters of international trade,’ according to its website. Across the year, leaders meet to ‘discuss financial and socioeconomic issues’.
Trump’s earlier attendance likely marks the final time he’ll attend a G20 summit before the end of his presidency in January next year. Despite a clear loss in both the Electoral College and the popular vote, he’s maintaining baseless claims of voter fraud and the Democrats ‘stealing the election’.
Trump told the leaders: ‘It’s been a great honor to work with you. And I look forward to working with you again for a long time.’
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