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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called off a major conference on climate change planned for February, E&E News reported Monday.


A statement from the CDC said it was considering plans to reschedule the conference, though it also acknowledged it would have to do so with consideration to budget priorities and another climate change meeting to be hosted by the American Public Health Association later this year.


It said it had begun notifying conference participants of the cancellation on Dec. 22.


News of the cancellation came just three days after President Trump formally took office. The newly inaugurated president has repeatedly denied, or at least questioned, the notion that human activity is causing rapid shifts in the Earth’s climate, at one point calling the phenomenon a “hoax” propagated by China.


{mosads}Georges Benjamin, the APHA’s executive director who was set to speak at the conference, told The Washington Post that the CDC called off the event amid fears that the Trump administration would cancel it anyway.

“They ran it up the flagpole and realized that it was so close to the inauguration, the chances of it being canceled were pretty real with the administration that was coming in,” Benjamin said.

The canceled summit was intended to teach public health officials more about climate change, an idea that is widely backed by climate scientists. Former President Barack Obama made it a key focus of his administration.

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