Facebook cancels its global marketing summit in San Francisco summit over coronavirus risks – but the city slams the decision for ‘pandering to fear’
- The Global Marketing Summit was due to be held in March but was canceled ‘out of abundance of caution’
- Facebook said many of the 5,000 participants traveled frequently to China
- The coronavirus has infected nearly 67,000 people, and killed more than 1,300
- The summit was set to pump at least $11 million into the San Francisco economy
- City official Aaron Peskin said the decision was ‘too bad for all the people who would have gotten some work’
Facebook has canceled its global marketing summit in San Francisco over coronavirus-related risks, saying many of the expected participants travel frequently to China.
The event, which was scheduled for March 9 to March 12 at the Moscone Center, was expected to host more than 5,000 participants, and would have potentially pumped more than $11 million into the local economy.
The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed over 1,500 people so far and infected more than 67,000 people on the Chinese mainland.
In the U.S, 15 people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus, and an American citizen living in China is the first to die of the illness.
‘Our priority is the health and safety of our teams, so out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,’ said Facebook media relations chief Anthony Harrison.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbeg, pictured in New York in January. The tech giant has canceled its annual global marketing summit over coronavirus related fears
San Francisco city official Aaron Peskin slammed Facebook’s decision to cancel the summit, saying it was ‘pandering to fear’
San Francisco city official Aaron Peskin has slammed the decision, and said the tech giant was ‘pandering to fear’.
‘It’s too bad for them and too bad for all the people who would have gotten some work,’ he told Fox, adding that the participants had booked into at least 10 hotels in the city.
Earlier this week, Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual telecoms industry gathering in Barcelona, was canceled after a mass exodus by exhibitors on coronavirus fears.
Major U.S. tech companies including Facebook, Cisco Systems Inc and AT&T had pulled out of MWC.
U.S CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS
So far, 15 people in the US have been confirmed to have coronavirus in seven states.
The first American with coronavirus was a man in his 30s who did not have symptoms of the infection while traveling back to the US from China.
He recognized his own symptoms and sought medical attention and his diagnosis was confirmed on January 21.
The patient received an experimental treatment – a drug designed for use in Ebola patients – while hospitalized.
On February 4, the man was released, and is considered cured of his symptoms. He remains in isolation at his home as an extra precaution for containment.
A woman in her 60s who traveled to Wuhan, China, was diagnosed with coronavirus on January 25, becoming the second American patient.
She had hardly left her home, so her contacts were limited. However, on January 30, officials confirmed that she had infected her husband, who tested postive for coronavirus.
The couple marked the first case of human-to-human transmission of the virus in the US.
After being hospitalized and treated, the pair were released to home self-isolation on February 7, and said in a statement that they were ‘definitely looking forward to getting home and getting life back to normal.’
California’s first case was confirmed on January 26 in Orange County. Like the previously confirmed patients, the man, who is in his 50s, had recently traveled to China, marking the third US diagnoses.