President Donald Trump was golfing yesterday while some of the world’s most powerful leaders took part in a G20 session on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Major leaders delivered video messages for the virtual session on “pandemic preparedness”, including politicians from this year’s host Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and South Korea.
Mr Trump attended the morning session, in his second-to-last appearance at the international meeting as US president, but was golfing in Sterling, Virginia, when the afternoon side-panel on the COVID-19 pandemic took place.
World leaders including Mr Trump (top right) take part in the Saturday morning briefing at the G20 summit
Mr Trump did not deliver a message to the meeting and there was thought to be no American involvement.
He spent around four hours at Trump National Golf Club, where he has spent multiple weekends since losing the election to Joe Biden.
President Trump was golfing when a G20 side-session on the COVID-19 pandemic took place
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany later said Mr Trump had highlighted the work the US has done in response to the coronavirus to world leaders at the summit, and spoke about how they had rebuilt the economy and worked on securing vaccines.
The president is scheduled to appear at the G20 for a final time on Sunday morning, US time.
Tweeting on Sunday, Mr Trump referenced his scheduled appearance and media reports about him not attending the side-panel meeting of leaders the day before.
He wrote: “Just arrived at Virtual G20. Was here yesterday also (early), but some of the Fake News Media failed to report it accurately – as usual. My speech is available (they said I didn’t make a speech).”
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in the US have topped 12 million according to Johns Hopkins University, with 255,905 related deaths. Globally, the pandemic has claimed more than 1.37 million lives.