Mackinac Policy Conference canceled due to coronavirus fears


Mackinac Island, home of the Mackinac Policy Conference. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Mackinac Island, home of the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Movers and shakers will have to wait another year to mingle at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

The Detroit Regional Chamber announced Tuesday that it has canceled the event, which had been moved from May to August in hopes that the coronavirus wouldn’t pose a health risk in the late summer.

“When we decided to move the Mackinac Policy Conference from May to August, optimism reigned,” the chamber said in a statement. “It seemed, even by expert accounts, that we would be in a different place come late summer. But it turned out that, as a state, we all just did not know what we did not know. It has become clear that ‘social distancing’ will be with us for quite a while. If  there is one thing the Conference has never been and never could be, it is socially distant."

The Detroit Regional Chamber is also canceling “any larger events for at least the rest of 2020.”

“We are exploring other, digital formats to curate conversation and drive action around the crucial immediate and longer-time issues that will drive our region and state’s prosperity,” the chamber said.

The annual conference draws hundreds of politicians, business owners, nonprofits, lobbyists, and journalists to the remote Mackinac Island.

Michigan has reported nearly 65,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 5,912 deaths of as of Tuesday.

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