ASLMS 2020 Annual Conference Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
March 13, 2020 | Message from Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD, ASLMS President
The Board of Directors of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) has made the decision to cancel its 40th Annual Conference scheduled for April 29 to May 3, 2020 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The ASLMS Executive leadership has been monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the last several days, the ASLMS has received many notices from faculty and exhibitors in the United States and around the world whose institutions and companies have imposed travel bans that will prevent them from attending the Annual Conference. The ASLMS Board of Directors has determined that cancellation of the meeting is necessary and unavoidable for the following reasons:
- At this moment, at least 69% of our faculty are prohibited from attending because of travel bans imposed by institutions, companies, and governments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The U.S. government bans on travelers from European nations and other countries prevent attendance by foreign attendees.
- The governor of Arizona has declared a “public health emergency” for the state. This would allow the governor, if necessary, to ban large gatherings like ours, as governors of other states have already done.
- The COVID-19 outbreak has now been officially designated as a “pandemic” by the World Health Organization.
- Persons who had already registered for the conference have begun to cancel even without an announcement from us.
ASLMS respects the decisions of the many institutions and companies which have chosen to restrict their employees’ travel during these unusual times. ASLMS would never advocate that faculty subject to travel bans travel against their employer’s policy, as that would jeopardize their ability to practice and to serve the health needs of their communities, as well as be contrary to the principles of the ASLMS organization.