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As coronavirus looms, Trump to visit health conference in Orlando next week

Trump will also speak at a high-dollar fundraising event the same week in Seminole County.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at a healthcare conference in Orlando next week as Florida reels from its first cases of the coronavirus.

The conference, held by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), is held annually in Orlando. Its communications director said Monday that Trump’s planned comments are not yet public. The conference will provide an opportunity for the president, however, to alleviate public fear about the coronavirus as it is suspected to continue its spread across the state and nation.

Related: Hillsborough coronavirus patient flew through Tampa International Airport, spokeswoman says

Trump’s administration has argued with leading Democrats in recent weeks over their handling of the virus. Last Friday, Trump insinuated that the virus was a ‘hoax’ that is being pushed by his political rivals.

“The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina. “... They tried the impeachment hoax. They tried anything. ... And this is their new hoax.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden shot back, calling Trump’s choice of words both dangerous and bizarre.

“Let the experts take this over,” Biden said. “Everyone will have more confidence.”

The HIMSS conference will be held at the Orange County Convention Center from Sunday through March 13. It drew over 43,000 attendees in 2019, according to Healthcare Dive. That number may dip for 2020, however, as the entire conference was once at risk of being canceled due to the coronavirus — prompting some vendors to sit the conference out for a year.

Trump will be a ‘special keynote speaker,’ according to organizers. Other keynote speakers will include former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez and Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.

Those looking to attend the conference can do so for as little as $195 if you’re a student, to $1485 if you’re an adult ‘non-member.'

The prices to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference next week.
The prices to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference next week. [ Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society ]

The exact time and date that Trump will speak was not released by conference organizers. The timing of Trump’s scheduled appearance, however, does align with a high-dollar fundraising stop in Florida that is scheduled for March 9.

That fundraiser will be held at the multi-million dollar estate of Bob Dello Russo, a businessman who founded Del-Air Heating & Air Conditioning.

The event will be held around lunchtime in Seminole County, according to Orlando Weekly, and will cost $11,200 per couple to attend. Those in attendance who want to sit at the event’s roundtable, have a photo taken and be at the reception will have to pay $100,000 per couple.