German chancellor says she 'cannot confirm' she'll attend possible G7 summit

German chancellor says she 'cannot confirm' she'll attend possible G7 summit
© Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cannot currently confirm that she will travel to Washington, D.C., for a possible Group of Seven (G-7) summit amid the coronavirus pandemic, her office said Saturday.

"The Chancellor thanks President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE for his invitation to the G7 summit in Washington at the end of June," Merkel's spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. "As of today, given the overall pandemic situation, she cannot confirm her personal participation, that is, a trip to Washington."

President Trump announced in March that this year’s G-7 summit would be held virtually, but has recently floated the possibility of holding it in person in late June in Washington.


Other leaders have also not committed to attending an in-person event, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauHispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Trump insulted UK's May, called Germany's Merkel 'stupid' in calls: report MORE saying such a meeting would be better but that he has concerns.

"There are significant health preoccupations that we have around holding it in person but there's no question that an in-person meeting in an ideal situation are much more effective than even virtual meetings," he said this week.

Trump also spoke with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronTrump insulted UK's May, called Germany's Merkel 'stupid' in calls: report The Hill's Morning Report - COVID-19 alarms escalate; Trump under fire over Russia Feehery: The more radicals try to remove history, the more the president looks to repeat it MORE Saturday. They discussed “progress on convening the G7” as well as other issues, according to a readout of the call from the White House.

Trump floated the possibility of holding the summit last week, saying the U.S. has “done well” in grappling with the coronavirus. He suggested the event could take place in part at Camp David as well as at the White House.

"I can tell you countries around the world are trying to open up," National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said at the time. "All of the leaders are looking forward to coming to the White House if we can make it work." 

The Group of Seven industrialized countries is made up of the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Japan.