The impact of the Coronavirus hit the White House travel schedule on Thursday, as a global health care group cancelled a conference set for next week in Orlando, Florida, where President Donald Trump had been set to speak on Monday.
“Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances and coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making, it is clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together in Orlando next week," said Hal Wolf, the President of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
The group had been set to meet March 9-13 in the Orange County Convention Center, a major destination for large conferences in Central Florida.
"This will be the first time in 58 years the event has been cancelled, but it is now clear that cancellation is unavoidable in order to meet HIMSS’ obligation to protect the health and safety of the global HIMSS community, employees and local residents," the group explained in a statement.
A second group, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, also announced that it would postpone an annual gathering scheduled for March 19-22 in Orlando.
"The health and safety of our attendees and the patients they take care of is our number one concern,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, the head of NCCN explained in a written statement.
"This was an incredibly difficult and disappointing decision to have to make," Carlson added, saying it was the group's responsibility to protect those who might be more susceptible to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.