Outbreak-BookExpo

FILE - This May 28, 2015 file photo shows attendees at the HarperCollins Publishers booth during BookExpo America in New York. Publishing's annual national convention, BookExpo, has been postponed until July. Organizers cited concerns about the coronavirus in rescheduling the gathering, originally scheduled to take place in late May at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the top five publishers in the U.S. will not be attending BookExpo, the industry’s national convention. Organizers already had pushed back the event from May to July in the hopes of easing concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic.

Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers both announced Tuesday that they had dropped out, citing the Coronavirus, and Penguin Random House announced last week that it would not go.

BookExpo usually attracts tens of thousands, from authors and editors to librarians and agents. It is to be held this year at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center, which the state of New York is currently converting into a medical facility in anticipation of a surge of patients requiring hospitalization. The state has the country’s highest number of reported cases.

BookExpo event manager Jenny Martin said in a statement that she was “disappointed” by the publishers’ decisions, but the event was still scheduled to take place.

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