(Adds details, background, McEnany quote)
WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump believes there would be “no greater example of reopening” than holding a summit of Group of Seven leaders in the United States near the end of June, the White House said on Tuesday.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the goal was for the summit to be held at the White House and that world leaders who attend would be protected.
“The president thinks no greater example of reopening in his transition to greatness would be the G7 and the G7 happening here,” McEnany told reporters.
“We want to see it happen, we think it will happen and so far foreign leaders are very much on board with the idea,” she added.
Trump, who is head of the G7 this year, has said an in-person summit would be a symbol of the United States and other countries seeking to return to normal, something the president has urged should happen quickly despite concerns from public health experts.
In March, the Republican president canceled the physical summit scheduled for June, moving to a video conference as nations grappled with the shutdown of international travel and multiple closures to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The leaders’ April and May discussions were also moved to teleconference.
The G7 is made up of the United States, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Britain as well as the European Union.
At least 1,672,708 cases of the highly contagious novel coronavirus have been reported in the United States and its territories, according to a Reuters tally of state and local government sources as of Tuesday. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Lisa Lambert; Writing by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Tom Brownpotus)
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