President Joe Biden on Saturday stopped to take selfies with first responders and medical personnel who joined Group of 20 world leaders on stage following their traditional “family photo.”
This weekend’s summit in Rome marks the first time the group has been able to meet in person since the start of Covid-19. Bringing the first responders and medical personnel on stage with the leaders was meant to honor their work and service throughout the pandemic.
More than 4.9 million people across the globe have died from Covid-19, including more than 745,000 Americans. The Biden administration is pushing to get every American vaccinated. So far, just over 57% of the total US population is vaccinated.
While in Rome, the leaders of the world’s largest economies are expected to discuss the pandemic, global supply chain problems, a global minimum tax rate, high energy prices and combating the climate crisis, among other topics.
Biden is expected to raise energy supply issues and throw his backing behind a global minimum tax in the first session of the G20 on Saturday, a senior administration official says. The White House believes a global minimum tax would end the global race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates, and it is a top priority of Biden’s.
The President is also expected to meet with United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday to discuss the path toward returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions, the White House has said. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and Biden has said the US will rejoin it once Tehran returns to full compliance with the pact’s restrictions on nuclear development.
The summit is taking place as Biden’s domestic agenda hangs in the balance at home. He was hoping to leave for his trip with a deal completed on his massive economic package to expand the social safety net, but he is still short of a legislative victory.
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