President Biden is heading to India on Thursday for the G20 summit, where he will pitch the message that America’s economy is strong and seek to strengthen or navigate ties between the world’s largest economies. The president’s trip is officially a go after he tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday.
It wasn’t certain that Mr. Biden would be able to make the trip, after first ladyfor COVID-19 on Monday. The White House has said all week that the president has since taken multiple COVID-19 tests, all of which have been negative so far. As of Wednesday afternoon, he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Mr. Biden will wear a mask indoors for 10 days following exposure, and will test “regularly,” Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday. The White House has not offered any contingency plans if the president tests positive en route to or in India.
In India, the president is expected to argue the U.S. economy — particularly its unemployment rate — is strong after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Biden is also expected to push for more international development in infrastructure in developing nations, to counter China’s influence in Africa and around the globe, as CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes reports. Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected to attend the summit, and it’s not clear when Xi and Mr. Biden will meet next.
The president will also continue his efforts to rally other nations around, even as Russia and China are G20 members. The summit comes after shortly before Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival in Ukraine’s capital.
“These brutal Russian attacks underscore the importance of continuing to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their territory against unprovoked, unjustified Russian aggression,” Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
While in Kyiv, Blinken announced another $1 billion aid package for Ukraine, something Mr. Biden is likely to highlight as well.
The G20 is an opportunity for Mr. Biden to meet one-on-one with other world leaders and manage country-to-country economic relations, as well as broader global goals. The U.S. is pushing for the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, key players in the Middle East.
The summit in India is also a political opportunity for Mr. Biden, whose approval ratings are struggling. The Biden campaign this week announced a new ad highlighting the president’s leadership on the global stage. The ad will run in battleground states on CBS’ “60 Minutes” while the president is at the G20 summit.
The G20, which consists of 19 nations and the European Union, accounts for approximately 85% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.
But the American economic story post-COVID-19 isn’t a glowing story for many American families, according to polling by CBS and others. The majority of Americans have a negative view of the state of the economy, largely thanks to inflation that’s risen faster than wages.