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Dozens Contract COVID After Attending California Conference Hosted by Vaccine Entrepreneur

At least two dozen people have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a conference in California that was hosted by Peter Diamandis, the co-founder of a coronavirus vaccine company.

Last month, Diamandis, 59, hosted an annual summit for a paid-membership group called Abundance 360 in Culver City, Calif. The event was initially slated to take place virtually at a Los Angeles hotel, but organizers later decided to move it to the offices of Diamandis' XPrize Foundation, according to the MIT Technology Review.

While hundreds of people listened to Diamandis' talk online, about 80 attendees, panelists and members of the support staff were there in person, the report states.

In a blog post published Friday on his personal website, Diamandis apologized for hosting the event and confirmed that he, along with 23 people that attended the summit, tested positive for the virus.

"I thought creating a COVID 'Immunity Bubble' for a small group in a TV studio setting was possible. I was wrong," he wrote.

Diamandis explained that safety protocols for the event, which included repeated COVID-19 testing for attendees, none of whom showed positive results at the time, had created "a false sense of security" for those in attendance.

"If any of you have ever experienced a new confidence or an impulse to lower your vigilance with masks and social distancing after receiving a negative PCR test, you need to read this," he wrote in his blog post.

He added, "I hope others can learn from my mistakes."

Diamandis is the co-founder of Covaxx, which, according to its website, is "focused on rapidly developing a multitope peptide-based vaccine for COVID-19."

His XPrize Foundation, a nonprofit organization that designs and hosts public tech competitions, has launched a program awarding $6 million in prize money for solutions to coronavirus testing, according to the New York Times.

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  • Posted on February 17, 2021