President Trump’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is officially on hold due to the government shutdown, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told NBC News. Trump is not likely to be particularly missed at the conference, though, where the theme of the year is “Creating a Shared Future in Fractured World” and where Trump had planned to bring his “America First” message, The Associated Press reports.
“I find it quite sad he’s coming to the WEF, but I imagine nothing can be done about it,” said Buddhist monk and Dalai Lama disciple Matthieu Ricard ahead of Trump’s decision to put his visit to the forum on hold. WEF founder Klaus Schwab had said earlier Monday that it would be “good to have the president here, if the snow conditions and the situation in Washington allow us.”
The United States’ 12-person delegation to the forum was to include two women, not an entirely surprising number when considering that just 21 percent of the WEF’s attendees are women. Still, the conference is making history this year with an all-woman team of co-chairs, NDTV reports, including “a union boss, a nuclear physicist, two company heads, a financial organization leader, an economist, and the prime minister of Norway.”
Depending how the week goes in Washington, Trump could potentially still make it to the conference, which runs Tuesday through Saturday. He is scheduled to speak at the forum Friday, although getting Trump to Switzerland gets “more and more logistically challenging every day,” Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, told CNN.