Joe Biden will attend his first meeting as U.S. president with Group of Seven leaders on Friday to discuss plans to defeat the novel coronavirus, reopen the battered world economy and counter the challenge posed by China. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed 2.4 million people, tipped the global economy into its worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression and upended normal life for billions just as the West grapples with the rise of China. Biden “will focus on the global response to the pandemic, including vaccine production, distribution of supplies” and efforts to fight emerging infections, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday. He “will also discuss the global economic recovery, including the importance of all industrial countries maintaining economic support for the recovery” and “the importance of updating global roles to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China,” Psaki said. The call with G7 leaders at 1400 GMT is a chance for Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican former President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, to project a message of re-engagement with the world and with global institutions after four years of his predecessor’s “America First” policies.