Aug 25, 2021 - Health

NRA cancels annual meeting due to COVID-19

Man at a convention with a rifle

A man checks out a display at the NRA annual meeting of members in Indianapolis in 2019. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association has canceled its annual meeting in Houston because of concerns about the rising rate of COVID-19 infections in Texas, the organization announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Texas, like much of the U.S., is experiencing a surge in cases driven by the highly-contagious Delta variant.

State of play: The NRA said it came to its decision after analyzing COVID-19 data from Houston's Harris County and consulting with "medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors and exhibitors," according to the statement.

  • "The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors and supporters," read the statement. "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."

This is the second year in a row the meeting has been canceled, after last year's planned get-together in Nashville also was canceled. The organization said it looked forward to meeting in Louisville in May 2022.

The big picture: Some Texas hospitals are already out of ICU beds.

  • In the Houston area, the Memorial Hermann health care system recently announced that it would close three emergency centers "to free up staff for hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients," the Texas Tribune writes.
  • Harris County also recently approved up to $30 million of spending to hire out-of-state nurses to assist with the local COVID-19 surge, per the Tribune.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify Harris County recently approved up to $30 million of spending for out-of-state nurses.

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