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New York Auto Show Canceled Amid Delta Spike

The show was one of several marquee events returning to the city this summer and fall

For the second straight year, organizers are pumping the brakes on the New York International Auto Show.

In an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon, auto show president Michael Schienberg announced that the convention -- set to begin on Aug. 20 -- was canceled, citing spiking COVID-19 caseloads from the hyper-contagious delta variant and state and local safety measures for the cancellation.

"As custodians of the 121-year-old New York Auto Show, we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone including attendees, exhibitors, and the thousands of men and women who put the Show together," Schienberg said. "Over the past few weeks, and especially within the last few days, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to create an event at the high standard that we and our clients expect."

With the Delta variant spreading widely among the unvaccinated and even causing mild cases in some vaccinated people, we need to talk more about individual responsibility when it comes to the virus, says University of South Florida VP Dr. Jay Wolfson.

The auto show was founded in 1900 and is one of the auto industry's most popular conventions with more than 1 million attendees each year. Last year's installment was initially postponed before being canceled, but before that, the show hadn't been postponed or canceled since World War II.

This year's show was one of several large-scale city traditions expected to return this summer and fall -- and was scheduled to begin just one day before the highly anticipated "We Love NYC" concert in Central Park. It's not clear if organizers of any of those events have made similar plans to postpone or cancel shows.

It's not clear whether car enthusiasts who had already purchased tickets to the show will receive refunds. Next year's auto show is expected to return to its normal springtime slot in April.

"The Covid pandemic has challenged our City, the country and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before," said Schienberg.

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