Trump misses G20 side-summit on pandemic preparedness to play golf, reports say

Donald Trump missed a side-event G20 virtual summit centred on pandemic preparedness in favour of playing golf, reports say.

CNN reported that as the sub-meeting was due to begin off on Saturday, Mr Trump had just arrived at his golf course in Virginia and did not appear on the list of speakers for the event.

The summit, hosted by the Saudi G20 Presidency saw speeches on pandemic response and ongoing preparedness from leaders of Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and South Korea.

According to a G20 press release, the summit had the “ambition of bringing world leaders together to secure the necessary next steps towards a safer world and build an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.”

“The only effective response to the pandemic will be a coordinated, global one, based on solidarity,” President of France, Emmanuel Macron, said during the event.

At the time of the event the president was photographed at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, a resort that he has frequently utilised since the presidential election was announced for Joe Biden on 7 November.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

Infections of the novel coronavirus continue to rise across the US, with the country now averaging over 1,300 Covid-19 deaths per day, the highest daily average since May, the Associated Press reported.

The president was in attendance for the main G20 summit earlier on Saturday during which he praised the administration’s coronavirus actions and development of a Covid-19 vaccine, The Hill said.

However, according to the newspaper, minutes after the weekend summit began, Mr Trump resumed his baseless Twitter tirade on the 2020 election results.

The president is yet to concede to the president-elect and has continued to push claims of electoral fraud in battleground states without evidence.

Mr Trump is scheduled to attend another G20 session on Sunday morning, according to his public schedule.

The president repeatedly attacked former president Barack Obama for golfing in times of crisis, having tweeted in anger at Mr Obama 26 times regarding the issue, often commenting that he should be working instead.

Mr Trump spent one in five days playing golf in 2019 and was pictured playing golf twice over the memorial weekend this year as the US hurtled towards 100,000 coronavirus cases.

The US has recorded more than 12 million cases of the virus since the outbreak gripped the country in March, leading to the deaths of more than 250,000 people, the highest death toll in the world.

 

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