You may not even remember this, but in July of 2018, the powers that be decided that Detroit's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) would be moving in 2020 from January to the week of June 8th. They wanted to turn the auto show into more of a city wide event - and early summer in Michigan would be just the time to do it. According to a Michigan State University infectious disease specialist, that date change may have spared a LOT of people from contracting COVID-19.

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According to the Detroit Free Press, Wuhan, China, where the first coronavirus infections were seen in December and January, is one of China's "automotive hubs, with assembly plants for GM, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Renault, Peugeot, Nissan, multiple Chinese automakers and dozens of suppliers." Last year, there were hundreds of Chinese journalists and auto executives that visited the NAIAS. And, as we all know now, a lot of people who are infectious don't even know they have this disease. If the show had taken place in January of this year, many of those from Wuhan would have been in a packed TCF Center in Detroit, along with thousands of Michigan residents and people from around the U.S. and the world.

I know we've already had a large number of coronavirus infections as it is in Michigan, but according to Dr. Peter Gulick, an infectious disease specialist at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine:

“It could’ve been a catastrophe. It was an environment for disaster. Detroit could’ve been the epicenter of COVID-19 for the whole country.”

Of course, the NAIAS has been canceled for 2020. But, as bad as the state's COVID-19 outbreak is now, we may have dodged an even bigger bullet.

Keep staying safe. Here's the story.

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