G7 leaders met Monday using video conferencing software.A photo of the meeting that journalist Alvin Lum shared on Twitter shows how the novel coronavirus is impacting the work of the world’s most powerful leaders.The leaders met to help form a joint strategy for combating the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now infected more than 169,000 people and killed at least 6,500 worldwide.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Even the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations have to conduct business via video conference these days.The G7 leaders met video on Monday to discuss the global COVID-19 pandemic.In a photo posted to Twitter by journalist Alvin Lum, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte can be seen on a video call.The subject of the call, according to Biorports, was how the G7 nations could coordinate their responses to the virus as tensions arise between European nations and the United States over travel restrictions and vaccine development.”By acting together, we will work to resolve the health and economic risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and set the stage for a strong recovery of strong, sustainable economic growth and prosperity,” the group of leaders said in a joint statement after the meeting on Monday.
—Alvin L (@alvinllum) March 16, 2020The conference came the day after a German news outlet broke the story that Trump reportedly in an attempt to poach German scientists to score exclusive rights to a potential coronavirus vaccine.In the photo from the virtual meeting, Trudeau can be seen in the photo in a home office in Ottawa, Canada. He has been running his country from a “22-room Rideau Cottage, a 150-year-old house on the wooded grounds of the governor general’s residence near downtown Ottawa,” according to Reuters.The Canadian prime minister has been self-isolating there since his wife, Sophie Trudeau, announced last week she tested positive for COVID-19. Trudeau has said he is feeling fine and has no symptoms of the novel coronavirus.On Monday, he announced a slew of new measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Canada, including closing the country’s borders to nations except for the US.The virtual meeting comes as nations recommend — or enforce —policies of social distancing that discourage groups of people from coming togetherThe conference call could be an indication of how major events and meetings will be conducted over the next weeks and months as companies, universities, and schools close and attempt to shift work online.
The moves are all part of a practice known as social distancing, which is being encouraged by world health officials as an effective means to prevent the further spread of the virus. Italy, Spain, and France, the hardest-hit European nations, have mandated the policy, allowing people to leave their homes only in special circumstances.States and cities across the US have announced the temporary closure of bars, clubs, and restaurants and have limited the size of events as part of the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations. Also on Monday, the White House recommended Americans limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people.US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned the US could face a similar path to Italy, which has so far had more than 1,800 deaths related to COVID-19 unless “aggressive” practices like those taken by China and South Korea were adopted in the US.Read more: What ‘social distancing’ actually means, and how to know if you should cancel your plans during the coronavirus outbreakMultiple cruise ships have been denied entry to port and are stranded at sea — some with coronavirus cases on boardSan Francisco will order a ‘shelter in place’ until April 7 as the city attempts to contain the coronavirusCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is closing Canada’s borders to anyone who isn’t a citizen, a permanent resident, or a US citizen