CES’s Justification for Keeping the Show IRL is Absolutely Unhinged

An anonymous reader shares a report: Somehow CES 2022 is still happening in a little over a week, despite the single-largest surge in COVID-19 cases ever recorded in the United States. The electronics show will be far less enormous than usual, but not necessarily because organizers at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) wanted it to be that way. CTA president Gary Shapiro went as far as to post an extensive rant on LinkedIn (and in the Las Vegas Review-Journal) about why, exactly, CES is still happening. He says CES "will and must go on." Let's take a moment or two to read through Shapiro's op-ed. We promise it's worth the time. Here are some of our favorite ways in which the CTA president explains his reasoning: 1. If we do not cancel, we face the drumbeat of press and other critics who tell the story only through their lens of drama and big name companies. We suppose this applies to us (pretty meta of us). Anyway, it's pretty telling that Shapiro's leaning on "bad press" -- not the ongoing public health crisis -- as a reason to not cancel the show. 2. I will feel safer at CES with our vaccine and masking mandate than I do when I'm running every day errands, including food shopping! Sorry, what? CES is notorious for packing attendants in like sardines. What kind of grocery store is this man going to? 3. It may be messy. But innovation is messy. It is risky and uncomfortable. Well, sure, innovating isn't a clean process, but CES isn't actually fostering innovation. The innovation's already done before these companies arrive on the showroom floor. 4. For those who are vaccinated and willing to take the minor risk of Omicron and a quarantine, CES may be worth it. I'm sorry, did this man just refer to COVID-19 (you know, the one that's killed more than 2 million people) as a "minor risk"? CES also said today that it will end a day earlier.

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