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Trump to speak at HIMSS 2020 conference

U.S. President Donald Trump will be a 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition conference speaker.

Karen Groppe, HIMSS senior director of strategic communications, announced the news during a media call Monday and said further details on his conference remarks will be released later today. His presence coincides with rumors that the proposed interoperability rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT could be approved during the event.

News of Trump’s HIMSS 2020 conference appearance also comes amid rising concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Conference cancellations are hovering around 0.6% while registration is 7% higher than last year’s event, according to a HIMSS update last week. On Saturday, Cisco Systems, a network hardware vendor, announced that it had withdrawn from HIMSS 2020, citing coronavirus concerns. No other vendor appears to have followed suit, and Groppe said HIMSS will not be announcing exhibitors who decide to withdraw from the conference.

As of right now, the conference is scheduled to proceed as planned. HIMSS leadership said it is closely monitoring the outbreak and has also assembled an external medical panel to evaluate the situation and the conference’s on-site preparedness for the coronavirus. Last week, HIMSS said it is closely monitoring the outbreak and declared the conference a “handshake free meeting.”

The health IT conference will draw nearly 45,000 health IT professionals and more than 1,300 exhibitors from around the globe for a week-long event in Orlando, Fla., starting March 9.

According to the HIMSS statement, the organization is accommodating cancellations from attendees who are traveling from countries designated a Level 3 alert by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including Italy, South Korea and China.

For attendees and vendors still planning to attend HIMSS 2020, the HIMSS organization has partnered with a regional hospital system and crafted a preparedness plan, which includes three medical offices onsite at the Orange County Convention Center, and screenings for attendees who could be at risk of infection. There will also be more hand sanitation sites available onsite, as well as access to medical-grade face masks and disinfectant wipes.

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