Dear members of the Eisenhower Fellowships global family,
I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Thank you for your outpouring of support and understanding as we’ve closely monitored and navigated the complicated, fast-moving global Covid crisis.
All of us at Eisenhower Fellowships appreciate your patience during these uncertain times. Back in mid-March, when the Covid-19 pandemic erupted across the United States, we postponed our 2020 Global Program from its original date this spring. Over the three months since then, we have been working hard to organize and host a robust Global Program in the United States this September.
Unfortunately, many serious obstacles to hosting a successful fellowship program of travel across the U.S. remain in place.
U.S. consulates and most visa processing operations around the world are still closed. Many countries still have travel restrictions and mandatory 14-day quarantines for citizens and visitors entering the country.
Across the United States, many of the professional counterparts with whom our Global Fellows would meet on fellowship are working remotely from home. And many of those who are back in their workplaces are restricting visitors or are wary of receiving people they have not previously met.
The swiftly-moving Covid situation is developing at differing paces in different parts of the country. As I write this today, more than 20 states report rising rates of Covid infection, a number that is growing each day as more and more states relax lockdown measures and move to reopen their economies.
Combined with projections that the country is likely to experience a new spike in infections this fall, when the annual influenza season begins, this makes it difficult to ensure we can protect the health of visiting Global Fellows early this fall, when social distancing and other health restrictions are certain to remain in place.
Considering these factors, and in close consultation with the Executive Committee of our Board of Trustees, we reluctantly have decided to postpone this fall’s scheduled Global Program until 2021.
All Fellows selected for the 2020 Program will have a place in the program next year. Until then we will continue to engage with them virtually until we can meet them face-to-face and welcome them in person to the EF global family. We will update you with more scheduling details once new dates are determined.
In the meantime, we are still working to host our USA, Zhi-Xing and Women’s Leadership Programs as scheduled this fall while we monitor closely the unfolding Covid situation. We will keep you informed of new developments regarding those programs as we know them.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we confront this unprecedented set of challenges. Please stay safe and be well.