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Trump suggests hosting G-7 summit in person in Washington area

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested rescheduling the Group of Seven summit in the Washington area, after having canceled an in-person meeting planned in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    "Now that our Country is 'Transitioning back to Greatness,' I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David," he tweeted, as the country emerges from weeks of a pandemic-triggered shutdown.

    In March, the White House said the United States would hold a videoconference instead of bringing together the G-7 leaders from June 10 to 12 at Camp David, the presidential retreat near the capital, so that countries could focus on the fight against the coronavirus.

    But Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that all 50 U.S. states are partially reopening their economies.

    Trump said on Twitter that other G-7 members are "also beginning their COMEBACK," and that holding a summit in the U.S. capital area would be a "great sign to all" of "normalization."

    The other G-7 members are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the European Union.

    Trump has been pushing to reopen the world's largest economy ahead of the November presidential election, even as health experts warn that moving too quickly to ease social-distancing measures could trigger another outbreak that may be difficult to control.

    More than 1.5 million people in the United States have been infected with the new coronavirus and more than 90,000 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Both figures are higher than any other country in the world.

    Globally, nearly 5 million people have contracted the virus, which was first detected in China late last year, with the death toll exceeding 320,000.

    Trump on Wednesday held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and expressed his intention to convene the G-7 summit soon, according to a White House official.

    Located in a mountain park, Camp David has been used extensively to host foreign dignitaries.

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