On Saturday, President Donald Trump skipped a virtual COVID-19 global response session of the G-20 summit, despite being the leader of the country with the highest COVID-19 death count. The G-20 Summit, where the 20 leaders of major economies join together to discuss international issues, is held just once a year.

Leaders who participated in the COVID-19 preparedness session were from countries including Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and South Korea. It was unclear if anyone representing the U.S. was present for the session, and Trump was not in attendance, despite attending opening ceremonies.

Several of the leaders in the session encouraged the idea of a global effort for COVID-19 vaccination and unified support of the World Health Organization. Trump withdrew the United States from WHO this summer, and has been encouraging the United States’ pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine rather than use the one approved by WHO.

Leaders at the session spoke about different ideas to help with COVID-19 global aid. French President Emmanuel Macron suggested the vaccine be distributed to the least developed countries first, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that defeating the coronavirus called for “reliable funding, better cooperation, [and] greater independence” from each nation.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin shared that Russia would be willing to distribute their vaccine, Sputnik V, globally, and that Russia has already begun manufacturing multiple other versions of a coronavirus vaccine. Chinese President Xi Jinping shared that China, which currently has five vaccines in Phase III trials, would also be able to globally distribute their vaccine soon.

While Trump did not attend this session, nor has he attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in several months, he is currently leading the nation that has been breaking COVID records every week. More than 82,100 people are currently hospitalized for coronavirus in the United States, the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began in March.

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