Trump addresses virtual G-20 summit, heads out before session on pandemic

Source: The Hill | November 21, 2020 | Celine Castronuovo

President Trump participated in the Group of 20 (G-20) virtual summit early Saturday where he touted the administration’s coronavirus actions and push to quickly develop a COVID-19 vaccine before leaving ahead of the start of a side conference on the response to the pandemic.

Trump appeared among nearly two dozen leaders to speak at the start of the summit hosted by Saudi Arabia when it began at 8 a.m. EST, joining via video conference from the White House Situation Room. Soon after the summit began, however, the president started tweeting about the election.

The president then left the White House shortly before 10 a.m. to visit his namesake golf club outside Washington, D.C., as other world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke during a side event on “Pandemic Preparedness and Response,” CNN reported.

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According to Politico Europe, Trump indicated to other G-20 leaders that he wants U.S. citizens to be the first to receive coronavirus vaccinations.

The president also reportedly claimed that the two vaccines that have showed promising signs this week, one from Moderna and the other by Pfizer and BioNTech, were the result of efforts by U.S. companies. BioNTech is a biotechnology firm based in Germany. Politico reported that Trump’s exact plans were not clear to leaders who heard his speech, and the White House did not immediately provide text of Trump’s remarks Saturday.

Minutes after the weekend summit began, Trump started tweeting about the election results. The president has consistently refused to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, who was announced as the projected winner by The Associated Press and other major news outlets two weeks ago.

“We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!” read a tweet posted to Trump’s account at 8:13 a.m. in response to a joint statement from Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the Michigan statehouse Lee Chatfield on their visit to the White House Friday. 

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