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President Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump will take part in the virtual G20 summit this weekend, the White House confirmed late Friday, to discuss the rise in coronavirus cases worldwide and the global economy.

Why it matters: The president's appearance comes as COVID-19 cases surge and world leaders struggle to develop a coordinated response to the pandemic. In total over 57 million cases have been reported, and more than 1.3 million deaths associated with the virus, per Johns Hopkins University data.

The big picture: Trump's official schedule has been largely clear since he lost the Nov. 3 election. Meanwhile, several world leaders have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his win.

    • Various business leaders and Democrats are urging Biden to craft a response to the virus alongside other world leaders, per the Washington Post.
    • Some experts believe a failure to coordinate distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine could push wealthier countries ahead of poorer ones.

Of note: Trump initially planned to hold this year's G7 summit at his Trump National Doral hotel in June, but continued to push back the forum, ultimately saying he wanted to hold the event post-election.

  • The president also missed summits with Asian leaders that were held virtually last weekend, per the Post.

What to watch: The meeting is expected to focus on finalizing a plan to grant poor nations debt relief, "which would for the first time include both China and the world’s banks," the Post writes.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.