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US President Joe Biden tests negative for COVID-19; to travel to India for G20 Summit

US President Joe Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 and will travel to India on Thursday to attend the G20 Summit during which he will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House said on Tuesday. The announcement comes a day after First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Biden was tested for the virus on Monday and Tuesday following his wife’s positive test, but his results were negative.

The US President will travel to India on Thursday to attend the G20 Summit, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told a press conference at the White House. He said President Biden will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi on Friday. Biden will participate in the official sessions of the G20 Summit on Saturday and Sunday, Sullivan said. The NSA said Biden is committed to working with emerging market partners to deliver big things together. Earlier, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Biden tested negative last night for COVID-19 and tested negative again on Tuesday.

“He’s not experiencing any symptoms as far as the steps that he is taking since the President was with the First Lady yesterday. He will be masking while indoors and around people in alignment with CDC guidance,” she said.

“And as has been the practice in the past, the President will remove his mask when sufficiently distance from others indoors and while outside as well. The CDC guidelines recommend a combination of masking testing and monitoring for symptoms. The President is doing all of that in current and close consultation with his physician,” she added.

Sullivan said the focus of the US in the G20 summit “is going to be on delivering for developing countries making progress on key priorities for the American people from climate to technology”. “That’s what we believe the world will see in New Delhi this weekend. The United States’ commitment to the G20 hasn’t wavered and we hope this G20 Summit (in New Delhi) will show that the world’s major economies can work together even in challenging times,” he said.

President Biden, he said, has worked to rebuild the American economy from the bottom up in the middle out by making smart investments in the industries of the future while tackling climate change and empowering workers. And those investments are paying off.

“We think countries around the world too, can benefit from a similar type of approach, and that we can help them as well by mobilising investment to support them in tackling the challenges that they face. And that’s one of our main focuses in the G20,” Sullivan said. The US, he said, is also looking forward to warmly welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20. “We believe that the African Union’s voice will make the G20 stronger,” Sullivan said. 

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