HIMSS Announces Cancellation of the 2020 Global Health Conference — “impossible to accurately assess risk” of Wuhan Virus
From the HIMSS Media Release:
ORLANDO, Fla., March 5, 2020 – Today, following recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIMSS announced it is clearly necessary to cancel the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition.
“We recognize all the hard work that so many have put into preparing for their presentations and panels that accompany every HIMSS conference,” said Hal Wolf, president, and CEO of HIMSS. “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.”
The advisory panel recognized that industry understanding of the potential reach of the virus has changed significantly in the last 24 hours, which has made it impossible to accurately assess risk. Additionally, there are concerns about the disproportionate risk to the healthcare system given the unique medical profile of Global Conference attendees and the consequences of potentially displacing healthcare workers during a critical time, as well as stressing the local health systems were there to be an adverse event.
In other words, if some of the world’s key health executives were infected with the Wuhan virus and then spread it within their health care organizations, it could have a potentially catastrophic impact on the health care of the planet.