President Joe Biden has decided to skip the World Economic Forum that is planned to take place in Davos, Switzerland, in January, a gathering of global political and economic leaders.
According to two persons familiar with the situation, Biden will instead send administration officials to scheduled meetings at a Swiss resort. When there hasn’t been a US president in attendance in the past, the group has consisted of senior officials that work on trade and economic problems.
Spokespeople from the White House did not respond to a request for comment immediately, when Bloomberg contacted them.
Biden’s decision to skip the meetings contrasts with the approach of former President Donald Trump. Trump attended twice while in office, in 2018 and 2020, breaking a long string of presidential absences. He had planned to go in 2019 but had to cancel due to a partial government shutdown in the United States.
During their presidency, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and George H.W. Bush skipped the event and never attended. Bill Clinton attended the event once as president in 2000 to celebrate the event’s 30th anniversary.
The event will take place from January 17 – 21, and organizers say it will address environmental, economic, social, and political fault lines worsened by the pandemic.
Biden has gone to things like this before, but apparently not this time around.