Dear Colleagues and 2020 CIS Annual Meeting Attendees,
I am writing this afternoon to let you know that after much deliberation and consultation with the CIS Council and meeting co-chairs, we have decided to cancel the 2020 CIS Annual Meeting planned for Denver, Colorado. This meeting is known for the opportunities it provides for rich interactions between members, its excellent plenary speakers and outstanding science, vigorous exchange of ideas, and opportunities for networking and mentorship. From a personal standpoint, this meeting has the feel of a family reunion and I'm saddened by the thought of missing out on the interactions with all of you who are members of this amazing community of scientists and care providers.
Due to the WHO classification of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, our society faces a situation unprecedented in the history of the organization. As a result of travel bans that were issued by institutions and between countries, many speakers and attendees are no longer able to participate in the meeting. This has led to cancellations for plenary speakers, oral presenters, and poster presenters. In short, these many cancellations have compromised the scientific content and quality of the meeting.
In addition, proceeding with the meeting would not only serve to make containment of COVID-19 more difficult, but our overriding concern is the health and safety of our meeting attendees, their families, the patients they care for at their home institutions, our host city of Denver, and the surrounding communities. In this regard, CIS has co-signed a global statement regarding COVID-19 and primary immunodeficiency patients. We would encourage you to review this statement and share it with your colleagues and patients.
We will refund meeting registration at 100%. Please understand that these refunds could take up to three weeks to process. We will notify you once we have a clear timeline.
I want to extend a special thanks and recognition to the CIS staff who have worked tirelessly to organize and now, un-organize this meeting. We know there will be many questions in the coming days, and we ask for your understanding and patience as we work toward the best possible solution for our meeting attendees and the Society Members. At this point, email is still the best means of contacting the CIS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite missing this important opportunity to meet together this year, our Society remains resilient and we look forward to meeting in the future and working together to advance the science of clinical immunology! For those of you preparing acts for the CIS Foundation's second talent show, keep practicing and we'll look forward to an even more spectacular show next year in St. Louis. Thank you again for your commitment and support of the CIS.
Troy Torgerson, MD, PhD
CIS President 2019-2021