NRA cancels annual Houston meeting due to COVID concerns
HOUSTON, Texas - The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced this week that one of its largest events of the year has been canceled due to COVID concerns.
According to The Houston Chronicle, the organization's annual meeting in Houston has been called off as a result of the area's worsening health crisis.
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Tens of thousands of people typically attend the event. But after consulting with medical professionals and local officials, the NRA said Tuesday that it made the "difficult decision" to nix the in-person gathering.
In a statement on its website, event organizers explained the concerns that led to the tough choice: "We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors & exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision..."
"The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters. We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event."
Had the annual meeting taken place, it would have unfolded in Harris County, a region that is grappling with a total of 40,745 COVID cases.
On Tuesday alone, 2,499 new virus cases were reported.
Earlier this week, three Houston area emergency rooms were shut down due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Memorial Hermann Health System announced.
Harris County is currently at a Level 1 Covid-19 threat level, which indicates a "severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and public health capacity is strained or exceeded," according to Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department.
The NRA's 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits would have taken place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from September 3-5.
The organization said it will provide a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members. In the meantime, the group encouraged supporters to plan on attending its May 2022 'Celebration of Freedom' event in Louisville, Kentucky.
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