LONDON – Nearly 10,000 people from around the world signed up to participate in the 2021 Global Science Summit on COVID-19 on April 15 to hear directly from eight renowned public health experts and scientists, sharing their knowledge on the most up-to-date science amassed from the past year of studying COVID-19. They also discussed how best to address ongoing questions about the virus and best practices for how society can safely resume travel and day-to-day activities moving forward.
The free, open-to-the-public event was hosted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, and Carnival Corporation & plc. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and the U.S. Travel Association were supporting sponsors of the event. The virtual summit continued building on the science-based discussions from a similar forum hosted by WTTC and Carnival Corporation in July 2020, which focused on evidence-based best practices for living safely in a world with COVID-19. A recording of the event will be available on April 22 at covidsciencesummit.com.
“We were delighted to once again host an open forum giving people access to leading health experts and scientists who are at the forefront of the research that is informing practical, adaptable and science-based solutions for learning to live with the virus,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO. “Our panelists shared their learnings from the past year, including insights validating our belief that it will require a coordinated and science-backed approach to reopen international travel. As the world reopens, we must continue prioritizing public health while restoring consumer confidence and driving global economic recovery across every sector, including Travel & Tourism.”
Guevara added: “We are grateful to our esteemed panelists and our WTTC members and viewers who joined us from around the globe. We also appreciate our continued collaboration with Carnival Corporation, and we thank our new supporting sponsors Hilton and the U.S. Travel Association for helping us make this event possible.”
"We are grateful to the highly regarded experts who participated in our Global Science Summit on COVID-19 - sharing with us what they’ve learned at the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation and a member of the WTTC Executive Committee and its vice chair for North America. "Their insights were incredibly helpful at a time when business and governments are seeking to better understand COVID-19's impact on society, and together, we can determine safe and workable evidence-based practices for mitigating and living with the virus."
Donald added: "Thanks to the WTTC, Hilton and the U.S. Trade Association for their support of this summit."
The summit included straightforward, easy-to-understand and fact-based discussions sharing the latest information related to epidemiology, screening, testing and tracing, vaccines, therapeutics, practical prevention, mitigation practices and more.
A session on “The Science of COVID-19” focused on epidemiology, transmission and testing, with featured speakers Dr. Steven Gordon, chairman of the Department of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute, and Dr. William Morice II, president of the Mayo Clinic Laboratories and chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic.
The “Treatment and Prevention” session covered topics ranging from masks and physical distancing, to isolation and quarantine, to vaccines and therapeutics, and more. Speakers included: Dr. Michael Diamond, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine at Washington University; Dr. Stefano Vella, adjunct professor of Global Health at the Catholic University of Rome and a member of the Program Committee of Horizon Europe Health Cluster; and Dr. Emil Christian Reisinger, director of the Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Rostock.
The final session on “Life in a World with COVID-19” looked at best practices for moving beyond the pandemic and featured Dr. Clare Rock, associate professor of medicine and associate hospital epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Dr. Michael Z. Lin, associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology at Stanford University; and Dr. Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School.