French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that he had spoken to U.S. President Donald J Trump and that members of the G7 will hold an emergency Leaders’ Summit via videoconference on Monday to discuss coronavirus.
Mr Macron announced via Twitter on Friday: “Following my call with Donald Trump and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organise an extraordinary Leaders’ Summit by videoconference on Monday on COVID-19.
“We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatment, and work on an economic and financial response.”
Following my call with @realDonaldTrump and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19. We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 13, 2020
The G7, or Group of Seven, is comprised of the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan, and generally meets to discuss economic policy and address challenges affecting global economic growth.
The announcement was made two days after President Trump unveiled a travel ban on 26 European countries in the Schengen Zone visa-free travel area. A number of countries across Europe have recently enacted restrictions including shutting schools and limiting the internal movement of people. The Czech Republic has followed President Trump’s lead and has enacted a travel ban of 13 countries considered to be high-risk nations.
Also on Friday, the World Health Organization’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced: “Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China. More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.”
President Trump has criticised the European Union’s response to the pandemic, saying: “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots… As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
"Europe has become the epicentre of the pandemic… more cases are reported every day than in China at the height of its epidemic."
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) March 13, 2020