SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Citing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, U.K.-based human rights nonprofit Amnesty International has canceled its annual general membership meeting, which was scheduled to begin Friday in La Jolla, the organization announced Thursday.
More than 600 people were expected at the three-day meeting at the Hilton La Jolla hotel, Amnesty International said in a press release.
“Unfortunately, the growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 have led us to make the very difficult decision to cancel the convening in San Diego,” it said.
Claiming there was not enough information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Trump administration about the spread of the virus in the United States, it was prioritizing health and safety of staff, members and activists.
“We considered the impact of having hundreds of us traveling across the country, and the consequences of exposing our loved ones to illness once we return home,” the press release read. “We recognize the risks of this particular illness and serious health consequences for those exposed. We decided to do what’s best for our people.”
The more-than-8 million-member organization, founded in London in 1961 with a focus on ensuring human rights around the globe, was trying to organize at least part of the conference virtually, and said it would update members with details at a later time.
It also stated that due to the short notice, those who have already traveled to the area and registered for the conference would be reimbursed.
“As a nonprofit organization, we ask that you first try to minimize costs by canceling flights or other travel arrangements and obtaining refunds or credit for future travel where possible,” the press release said.