A birthday party for Congressman John Lewis that was going to double as a 2020 campaign fundraiser is the latest victim the coronavirus scare.
Lewis’ campaign office has announced that a planned party on March 28 at the Tabernacle has been canceled.
“Congressman Lewis’ decision to postpone his 80th Birthday Celebration was the right choice,” said Tharon Johnson, the congressman’s former campaign manager. “We have to be extremely cautious for him and his constituents. I look forward to celebrating his 80th birthday soon with my other friends and colleagues who live in the 5th District.”
Lewis, who is battling pancreatic cancer, has represented the 5th district for 17 terms.
Barrington Martin, a Democrat, and Angela Stanton-King, a Republican, have announced their intentions to unseat Lewis.
The birthday party announcement was just the latest in a string of nationwide coronavirus-related cancellations aimed at limiting the numbers of big group gatherings, from SXSW to Coachella to the Ivy League basketball tournament. The state of Washington and San Francisco have outright banned large events amid the outbreak.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll continues to rise.
“I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to those who had planned to attend my celebration, and I hope that all will be able to join us once it’s rescheduled,” Lewis said. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by coronavirus until then.”
Tamar Hallerman contributed to this article.
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