Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly canceled a climate change conference scheduled for next month in Atlanta, former Vice President Al Gore announced another summit would be held in its place.
With the help of the American Public Health Association, Gore will host the Climate and Health Meeting on Feb. 16 in Atlanta because there is "still a void and still a need" for the meeting to happen.
The original summit had been scheduled by the CDC as it helps battle climate-related health concerns such as the Zika virus outbreak, rain and floods spreading water-borne disease, and other conditions linked to heat waves and pollution.
Gore said that as climate conditions -- such as an increase in hot days, which helps create an atmosphere where more mosquitoes may breed, making it easier to spread diseases like Zika -- shift to create health concerns, public agencies need to be prepared to handle them.
"They tried to cancel this conference but it is going forward anyway," Gore said in a statement. "Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn't be a political issue. Health professionals urgently need the very best science in order to protect the public, and climate science has increasingly critical implications for their day-to-day work."
Since taking office, the Trump administration has made clear it will not make climate change the same priority it was during President Barack Obama's time in the White House.
While no announcement was made with the cancellation of the original summit, some inside and outside the CDC say the event was scrubbed because they were concerned about blowback from the new administration.
The Trump administration is reviewing information and studies about the environment and climate change to make sure "that the voice coming from the EPA is one that's going to reflect the new administration." Additionally, when the White House website was switched from the Obama to the Trump administration, the pages with information about climate change were among several that were completely scrubbed from the site and not yet brought back online.
Despite the lack of an official statement from the CDC about the cancellation, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, Georges Benjamin, told The Washington Post "there's still a void and still a need" for the conference and the hope is to attract as many attendees as possible with the new announcement.
"The event will preserve the focus of the CDC conference and will be a substantive working session for participants, providing a crucial platform for members of public health professions, the climate community, and officials tasked with responding to local health problems, to come together around solutions," organizers say on the event's website.