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G-20 to hold emergency virtual summit on coronavirus response

G-20 to hold emergency virtual summit on coronavirus response
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The Group of 20 (G-20) will hold an emergency virtual summit on Thursday to address the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The group, which is made up of 19 countries which have the largest economies and the European Union, will discuss the advancement of “a coordinated global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications.” The meeting will be chaired by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, which is hosting this year’s conference in November.

G-20 members will be joined by representatives from Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland as well as international groups such as the United Nations, World Bank Group, the World Health Organization and World Trade Organization.

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The White House confirmed President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE will join the teleconference.

“President Donald J. Trump will participate in a video teleconference with G20 leaders tomorrow as part of the ongoing effort to coordinate an international response to the coronavirus pandemic," White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

The summit will come as the world speeds towards a high-water mark of 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. Over 19,600 people have died from the pandemic thus far.

World health officials have sounded the alarm that more stringent actions are needed to help curb the spread of the virus, noting that a vaccine is unlikely to be available for at least a year.

“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Mike Ryan, a WHO emergency-preparedness expert, said this weekend. “If we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.” 

“The vaccines will come, but we need to get out and do what we need to do now,” he added.

—Updated at 11:50 a.m.