The Group of Seven leaders committed Friday to donating 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines, including 500 million from the United States, to other countries as they launched their summit in Cornwall, England, with a focus on the pandemic.
Before gathering for a session centering on recovery from the coronavirus, President Biden and other G-7 leaders posed for a traditional “family photo,” this one taken on the beach. The first day of the gathering also includes a reception with members of the British royal family.
Ahead the formal start of the summit, the White House announced that Biden would welcome one of its leaders — German Chancellor Angela Merkel — to Washington next month as he continues seeking to repair relationships that frayed under his predecessor.
Photos: Biden is visiting Europe in his first presidential overseas trip.
Queen Elizabeth II meets with Biden and other G-7 leaders
Queen Elizabeth II met with Biden and other G-7 leaders Friday at a series of events in Cornwall, including a reception at a park called the Eden Project.
There, the group posed for a “family photograph,” with the queen front and center.
“We’re socially distanced, aren’t we?” she could be heard saying at one point.
“Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying this?” she asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson later.
Prince Charles; Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; and Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge were also in attendance at the Eden Project reception.
Afterward, Charles and William hosted a reception for the G-7 leaders and CEOs from the world’s largest companies, “to discuss how the private sector can work with governments to tackle the climate emergency,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
According to the White House, it was not Biden’s first time meeting the queen. Biden previously met her when he was a U.S. senator in 1982 — the same year William was born.
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World leaders are in England, but beautiful British beaches have stolen the show
LONDON — When Biden shared a photo to Twitter on Thursday of him standing alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and gazing out onto an unspoiled, sandy white beach from the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, the post was supposed to be a tribute to the “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States.
But to many, it was the image of the picturesque coast that stood out. It looked somewhat suspicious. Too good to be true. Others questioned the authenticity of the scene, wondering whether it was photoshopped.
Biden’s motorcade has arrived for a reception with fellow G-7 leaders and their spouses hosted by members of the British royal family at the Eden Project, an attraction where massive bio-domes house an enclosed rainforest.
Among those attending are Queen Elizabeth II; her son Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; and the queen’s grandson Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Afterward, the leaders plan to take another “family photo,” this one including the queen.
A dinner is scheduled to follow with the G-7 leaders and their spouses.
The five-course dinner will begin with a melon gazpacho, followed by a roasted Cornish turbot, caught by a local fisherman, and served alongside locally grown new potatoes, greens and wild garlic pesto.
Finishing out the meal will be a selection of three Cornish cheeses, a dessert course featuring strawberry Pavlova and a final course comprising a selection of petit fours that includes a miniature ice cream cone and fudge made from clotted cream, along with chocolate earl gray truffles.
Antonia Noori Farzan contributed to this report.
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Photos: Biden visits Europe in first overseas trip as president
Biden carried two messages to Europe this week:A confident declaration that “America is back” and a fretful warning that the world’s democracies face internal and external threats unlike any since the Cold War.
“We’re at an inflection point in world history — the moment where it falls to us to prove that democracies will not just endure, but they will excel,” he said Wednesday in his first remarks on foreign soil since taking office. “We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over.”
What all of that might mean for American leadership on the global stage is reflected in a new study of overseas public opinion from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which regularly assesses U.S. standing around the world.
G-7 leaders and guest countries committed Friday to provide more than 1 billion additional coronavirus vaccines for the world starting this summer. The United States will contribute a half-billion doses — the largest single donation of vaccines in history.
“We call on countries to donate additional doses of safe and effective vaccines, strengthen vaccine readiness, and work with private sector partners to vaccinate the world,” the Biden administration said in a statement.
Biden is in Europe on his first overseas trip as president to meet with global leaders on a host of issues including combating the global coronavirus pandemic that has devastated tens of millions of lives around the world.
The effort puts these countries on track with its goal to end the pandemic by 2022. The G-7 plan will prioritize vaccinating vulnerable populations, stimulating the global economy and preparing to respond to future similar situations. Delivery of the vaccines begins in August.
The United States had previously committed $2 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support Covax and donated 80 million vaccines. Hundreds of millions of doses have already been set aside for Africa, Latin America and Asia to develop their health systems to better manage the pandemic.
“We must expand our emergency responses, including by delivering lifesaving medical supplies, oxygen, diagnostics, therapeutics, and PPE,” the statement said. “We are providing emergency assistance in 2021 to regions that need it most.”
The Biden administration said its efforts are aimed at preventing a similar scenario from happening in the future — and if so, having systems in place that respond better and faster.
“We must substantially strengthen the rapid detection of infectious disease threats,” the statement said. “We will support the establishment of a coordinated global surveillance network to improve disease forecasting and surveillance, enable swift detection of pathogens, and translate early detection into action. We commit to accelerate development, production, and deployment of safe and effective countermeasures within 100 days.”
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What’s on the menu for the G-7 summit? Baked brie, toasted marshmallows and hot buttered rum.
After a long day of discussing the world’s most pressing problems at the Group of Seven summit on Saturday, leaders will relax around bonfires on the beach while they drink hot buttered rum, feast on toasted marshmallows and baked brie, and are serenaded with sea shanties.
And that’s just the dessert course. The three-day summit in Cornwall, England, will also serve as an opportunity for Britain to show off its finest cuisine — and demonstrate that it has more to offer than jellied eel and beans on toast. In keeping with the goal of making the event “carbon-neutral,” most ingredients will come from within a 100-mile radius.
Friday night’s five-course dinner will begin with a melon gazpacho, followed by a roasted Cornish turbot caught by a local fisherman and served alongside locally grown new potatoes, greens and wild garlic pesto. Finishing out the meal will be a selection of three Cornish cheeses, a dessert course featuring strawberry Pavlova and a final course comprising of a selection of petit fours that includes a miniature ice cream cone and fudge made from clotted cream, along with chocolate Earl Gray truffles.
Rising prices in the United States are offering a glimpse of the white-knuckle recovery that is in store for the global economy, as surging demand for everything from machined parts to restaurant meals collides with supply bottlenecks and product shortages.
Despite the highest inflation since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve is continuing the easy-money approach it adopted last year to avert a pandemic depression. Officials say the unprecedented policy experiment will bring millions of Americans back into the labor force and allow minorities and disadvantaged workers to share in renewed prosperity.
But some notable critics warn that bubbling inflation could instead feed on itself, ultimately forcing the Fed to slam on the brakes by raising interest rates. That might cool rising prices but only at the cost of plunging the United States into a new recession and destabilizing the global economy by forcing many foreign investors and borrowers to absorb punishing losses.
In his opening remarks Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on all countries to “build back better” after the coronavirus pandemic, employing a catchphrase that has been at the heart of the Biden administration’s economic messaging.
Johnson told the assembled leaders that while he remains optimistic that the world’s economies will continue to recover from the pandemic, it is important to avoid making the mistakes of the past. In particular, he described what he views as errors that were made over the past 18 months as well as during “the last great economic recession in 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.”
“I think what’s gone wrong with this pandemic, and what risks being a lasting scar, is that I think the inequalities may be entrenched,” Johnson said. “And we need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better. And I actually think we have a huge opportunity to do that.”
‘I’ll tell you after I deliver it,’ Biden says when asked what his message for Putin will be
Biden, who has pledged to talk candidly with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet next week, declined Friday to preview exactly what he’ll say.
“I’ll tell you after I deliver it,” Biden said in response to a question shouted by a reporter about what his message will be for Putin. He was asked as he walked away from the “family photo” of G-7 leaders.
Former president Donald Trump requested that Biden give Putin his “warmest regards” in a statement Thursday in which he fondly recalled his “great and very productive” 2018 summit with Putin in Helsinki.
“Despite the belated Fake News portrayal of the meeting, the United States won much, including the respect of President Putin and Russia,” Trump said.
He also used the statement to suggest, once again, that he trusted Putin’s assurance that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election over the conclusion to the contrary by U.S. intelligence officials.
“As to who do I trust … Russia or our ‘Intelligence’ from the Obama era … the answer, after all that has been found out and written, should be obvious,” Trump said.
He went on to describe several U.S. intelligence officials as “lowlifes.”
“Good luck to Biden in dealing with President Putin — don’t fall asleep during the meeting, and please give him my warmest regards!” Trump said.
Trump’s comments ahead of Biden’s meeting on Wednesday alarmed many members in Congress, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
“Wow. Every Republican must answer ‘do you trust Russia or American Intelligence?’ ” he tweeted. “One word answer please …”
Boris Johnson says he and President Biden are ‘working together’ on case of Harry Dunn
LONDON — Johnson said Friday that he and Biden were “working together” on the case of Harry Dunn, the British teenager killed in August 2019 when his motorbike collided with a vehicle being driven on the wrong side of the road. American Anne Sacoolas, accused of killing Dunn, claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the country.
Sacoolas was working in Britain for a U.S. intelligence agency, as was her husband, her lawyer told a Virginia court earlier this year. Since the fatal incident, Dunn’s family has campaigned for her to be stripped of diplomatic immunity so she can return to Britain to face justice.
Sacoolas has been formally charged in Britain with causing death by dangerous driving — an offense that carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison. She remains in the United States.
During her visit to a school with first lady Jill Biden, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, made her first public remarks about her new niece, Lilibet Diana, the baby girl of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked her if she had any wishes to send along to her new niece.
“I wish her all the very best. I can’t wait to meet her,” Catherine said. “We haven’t met her yet. I hope that will be soon.”
Another reporter asked if she had seen her niece on a video call. “No, I haven’t,” Catherine said.
Harry and Meghan’s second child was born June 4. She is named after her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and her late grandmother, Princess Diana.
G-7 leaders pose for socially distanced ‘family photo’ on the beach as gathering begins
Leaders of the G-7 gathered on platforms set up on the beach at Carbis Bay, England, for a socially distanced “family photo” at the outset of their gathering.
“Okay, here we are, folks — right. Everybody here? All right, we’ve got it,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as photographers snapped pictures.
Biden stood to Johnson’s right in the front row.
Before fulfilling that tradition, Johnson, who is playing host, and his wife, Carrie Johnson, welcomed the leaders of the other G-7 nations — the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — one at a time.
Most were accompanied by their spouses and exchanged elbow bumps with Johnson and his wife before posing for individual photos.
“I feel like I’m at a wedding,” first lady Jill Biden said as she walked across the beach in a red dress.
“Everybody in the water,” President Biden said, presumably joking, as he faced the news media.
After the group photo, French President Emmanuel Macron put his arm on Biden’s back and the two leaders engaged in a conservation.
Jill Biden and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, jointly tour a school, host discussion on early education
First lady Jill Biden and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, met for the first time Friday as they jointly toured a school in Cornwall, England, and held a roundtable discussion on early education.
The two chatted before heading to a classroom at Connor Downs Academy, where they visited with 4- and 5-year-olds.
A staffer reminded them to put on masks as they went inside.
“Thank you for reminding us,” said Catherine, the wife of Prince William, who is second in the line of succession to the British throne.
Head of School Janice Eddy told reporters that the school serves students who have experienced trauma in their lives. She said it has outdoor classrooms where children plant vegetables and flowers and work with animals.
Inside the classroom, Biden and the duchess spoke with small groups of students, with Biden, a longtime educator, helping with Legos at one point.
“It’s very important to the foundation,” Biden said of early education. “As a teacher at the upper levels, if they don’t have a good foundation, they fall so far behind. This is amazing to see how far advanced they are.”
After the tour, the first lady and duchess hosted a roundtable with four British early-childhood experts, while three U.S. experts joined via Zoom.