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Health conference in Orlando with Donald Trump canceled due to virus

First time the conference has been canceled in 58 years.

The international health information conference in Orlando that was to feature President Donald Trump as a speaker has been canceled due to concerns over the new coronavirus.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society announced Thursday it is canceling its entire conference, set for March 9-13 in Orlando, “out of an abundance of caution because of the risk of COVID-19 Coronavirus.”

Trump was to speak at the conference March 9, on a trip that also includes a fundraising stop.

There has been no official word from the White House or Trump’s reelection campaign about his trip.

HIMSS is an international organization supporting information management and transfer in the health care industry. It’s annual conference typically draws thousands from a worldwide membership. In 2015 Hillary Clinton was a keynote speaker before she ran for president.

The 2020 conference was set for the Orange County Convention Center.

The organization announced on its website that its leadership has been meeting with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to decide what to do.

“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,” the group stated on its website.

“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, as well as for the healthcare providers tasked with keeping our U.S. and global communities healthy,” the group adds.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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