President Donald Trump attended his final G20 summit on Saturday but he didn’t seem very invested in the gathering that is being held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump was among the world leaders present at the opening session Saturday morning, appearing live from the White House situation room. But whether he was actually paying attention to what was going on seems, at the very least, debatable. A mere 13 minutes into the official start time of the event, Trump was already sending tweets about the presidential election. And two hours later he had already left the White House to go to his golf club in Virginia.
Trump did not participate in a special session of the G20 summit on the global response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic on the same day as the United States posted a record 198,500 new COVID-19 cases. And it doesn’t seem he designated anyone to take his place as there didn’t appear to be any American representation in the session where several world leaders spoke.
In his short appearance at the summit, Trump did take the opportunity to push his campaign to deny that he lost the election to the global stage. “It’s been a great honor to work with you, and I look forward to working with you again for a long time,” Trump reportedly said at one point. Almost all world leaders have already called Joe Biden to congratulate him on his victory.
Trump’s comments at the summit apparently raised eyebrows among other participants because he spent time praising the U.S. economy and the military and patted his government on the back for the fast pace of COVID-19 vaccines. Other leaders largely focused on the pandemic and several pushed for a plan to distribute vaccines fairly around the world. “His was the anomalous speech. Everyone else talked about global matters of life and death,” a source told the Guardian.
Trump is scheduled to attend another G20 session on Sunday morning.