US announces G7 will be held virtually amid COVID-19 pandemic

The US State Department has announced Wednesday that the G7 Summit will be held virtually to better accommodate efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (the novel Coronavirus).

The G7 was originally set to be hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this month. The G7 has included Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Russia was a member previously until their 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Several of the G7 states are currently experiencing widespread outbreaks of COVID-19. Japan has been fighting outbreak for several months. Italy has recently implemented strict quarantine and travel restrictions nationwide. The US has only recently begun fighting the pandemic with a patchwork of quarantines, travel restrictions, and event cancellations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Pennsylvania currently has 12 reported cases of COVID-19.

The State Department did thank the City of Pittsburgh for its willingness to host the event and does look forward to hosting events there in the future.