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Coronavirus Live Updates: G7 Summit Is Postponed

2020-05-31 04:17:06

Merkel rejected Trump’s invitation to attend the G7 in person. Then Trump postponed the summit.

President Trump told reporters on Saturday that he was postponing a Group of 7 meeting scheduled to be held in the United States next month. Earlier Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said she would not attend in person, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump also announced that he wants to invite Russia to rejoin the group.

Making the announcement while returning from the SpaceX launch in Florida, he said he also planned to invite South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, with an adviser adding that the idea was to bring together traditional allies to discuss China. He said he now wants to hold the meeting in September.

“I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,” Mr. Trump said. But his decision to say he will unilaterally invite Russia — which was indefinitely suspended in March 2014 after the annexing of Crimea — is certain to inflame other member nations.

Holding the summit in June would have underscored Mr. Trump’s message that America can reopen and that the worst of the coronavirus crisis has passed, even as many public health experts warned that a rush to do that could lead to a new wave of infections.

But given that most international and even diplomatic travel has been on hold for months, his proposal struck many foreign policy experts as fanciful. World leader summits like the G7 typically involve hundreds of officials and support staff, as well as elaborate security.

Earlier Saturday, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman said in an emailed statement that she “thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit in Washington at the end of June. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, a trip to Washington.”

The Romanian prime minister, Ludovic Orban, paid a fine on Saturday for breaking his own coronavirus restrictions, after a photo widely shared on social media showed him with other cabinet members smoking in his office and not wearing a mask.

In a statement, Mr. Orban admitted to breaking the lockdown rules on May 25, his 57th birthday, when some cabinet members gathered at his office after work.

“He followed the instincts of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that,” Mr. Johnson said at a news briefing. “I believe that in every respect, he has acted responsibly, and legally, and with integrity.”

But that account came under question after The Observer and the Sunday Mirror reported that Mr. Cummings and his family had been spotted elsewhere on Easter Sunday.

World leaders, royals and human rights activists will headline a 24-hour online celebration of gay pride on June 27 that was organized after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of hundreds of L.G.B.T.Q. pride events around the world.

The virtual pride celebrations may allow some L.G.B.T.Q. people to participate for the first time, according to a president of InterPride, one of the chief organizers.

“This means people who aren’t out, or who are living in socially conservative countries, can take part,” the president, Julian Sanjivan, said in a statement.

The country’s Home Ministry said the new rules, which will take effect on June 8, were part of a broader plan to reopen. Movie theaters and schools will remain shut, but people are now free to move around outside “containment zones,” areas with a high number of infections.

India’s number of daily new infections is among the highest in the world, surpassed only by Brazil, the United States and Russia. The country has reported more than 170,000 total infections and 4,971 deaths.

India’s struggles with the virus stand out, as other countries in southern Asia have recently held infections low enough to reopen more aggressively. Thailand has begun reopening restaurants, with other businesses like some salons and gyms cleared to resume operations on Monday.

Unlike India, though, Thailand relies disproportionately on tourism as a source of revenue, and the industry has suffered since incoming commercial flights were suspended in early April. The flight ban will last until at least the end of June, jeopardizing millions of tourism jobs.

President Shinzo Abe has lifted Japan’s state of emergency, but his government is urging people to continue avoiding what it calls the “Three Cs”: close contact in closed-off, crowded places.

That’s not a joke: The Japanese news media has lately helped to popularize the notion that talking loudly may be linked to increased aerosol transmission of the virus that causes Covid-19.

Some emerging scientific research, however, suggests that the rate of transmission may also be linked to how — and at what volume — you speak.

A 2019 study in the journal Scientific Reports, for example, found that the rate of particle emission increased as speech grew lower, regardless of language. It also said that “speech superemitters” consistently released “an order of magnitude more particles than their peers.”

And in January, a study in the journal PLOS One found that certain vowels and consonants — “i” and “d,” for example — were linked to higher particle emission rates, among other speech patterns.

Among the questions to be studied further, they wrote, is why some people are “superemitters”; how far droplets travel once expelled from one’s mouth; and how fast they fall to the ground.

Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman, Mike Ives, Suhasini Raj, Kai Schultz and Derrick Bryson Taylor.


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