Donald Trump skipped the G20 summit’s “Pandemic Preparedness” event to visit one of his golf clubs on the same day that a record 198,500 new Covid-19 infections were reported in a 24-hour period in the United States.
The summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 250,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world.
Trump’s apparent disinterest in the summit started earlier on Saturday when he started tweeting about the election results after the scheduled start time of the summit at 8am ET.
By 10am, Trump was leaving the White House to go to his golf course outside of Washington DC.
The event featured remarks from leaders, including the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and was focused on the “coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and improved global pandemic preparedness,”
Before he left the White House to go to the golf course, Trump implied to leaders that he will be working with them in the future, a reference to the losing fight he has put up against the results of the presidential election.
Since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election, leaders from around the world have congratulated Biden, including Macron; the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson; and the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, acknowledging his victory even while Trump has refused to.
Trump has visited one of his golf clubs on 303 occasions during his four years as president.
During his 2016 campaign for the White House Trump regularly attacked his predecessor Barack Obama for hitting the links too often and insisted that he would have little time to play golf himself as president as he would be working too hard.
Leaders who have spoken thus far at the G-20 this weekend have highlighted the importance of a comprehensive and international response to the coronavirus.
Macron said in his remarks that the G-20 faces a “historical responsibility that requires us to move towards uniting international efforts to ensure an effective international response to this crisis,” noting that with studies indicating a vaccine could be available in the coming months, the world must ensure equal distribution of a shot.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. currently leads the world in the number of total confirmed coronavirus infections, followed by India at roughly 9 million, Brazil with 6 million and France with 2.1 million cases.