For the first time since World War II, the Endocrine Society has cancelled its annual conference, ENDO 2020, following dire reports regarding COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local health authorities in San Francisco, the site of the conference.
“We have been clear all along that the health and safety of ENDO attendees, staff, exhibitors and the San Francisco community are our highest priority,” says Endocrine Society President E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, of the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa. “By holding the meeting at this time, we might not only put attendees at risk, but could displace healthcare workers during a public health crisis, by forcing them into self-quarantine upon their return or potentially contributing to further spreading the virus to our attendees’ hometowns.”
Recently, the city of San Francisco recommended cancelling or postponing large gatherings, such as conventions or large community events. Furthermore, institutions across the world are restricting travel, making it impossible for many who have registered for ENDO 2020 to participate in this major medical and scientific meeting. Together, these considerations made it clear that it was impossible for the Endocrine Society to proceed with its annual meeting.
“We are very disappointed to share this news with the 9,500 attendees who were expecting to come to San Francisco and enjoy the meeting,” Abel says. “Moreover, I am incredibly grateful for our Annual Meeting Steering Committee and Endocrine Society staff who poured so much work into developing this impressive program. The science must go on and we will actively collaborate with our planning committees to take the great ideas for ENDO 2020 and incorporate them into ENDO 2021. We are also exploring options to disseminate ENDO 2020 content in various ways over the coming year to our conference registrants.”
The cancellation marks only the third time in the Society’s 104-year history, that ENDO was not held. The other two cancellations occurred during World War II.
ENDO 2020 attendees and exhibitors will be contacted with further information regarding registration refunds and booth contracts.