New York City on Monday announced that its annual LGBT Pride Parade and celebration scheduled for June14-28 has been canceled.

In a statement, Heritage of Pride, which organizes New York City Pride, said that it was responding to the coronavirus pandemic. New York has become the hottest coronavirus hotspot on the globe with nearly 19,000 deaths – almost half of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States – as of Monday.

“Heritage of Pride, in partnership with the City of New York, announced today that the NYC Pride 2020 roster of events, originally scheduled for June 14-28, will not take place as planned. Due to the collective concern for the overall safety of the community, the organization has worked closely with the City to arrive at this decision,” the group said.

Maryanne Roberto Fine, co-chair of New York City Pride, said that New York Pride would need to be “reimagined.”

With more than 5 million attendees, New York City Pride, which consists of more than 50 events, is considered one of the largest LGBT Pride events in the world.

The centerpiece this year was the 50th anniversary of the NYC Pride March. The first march took place in 1970, a year after the Stonewall riots.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other cities are also canceling their in-person events.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his support for Pride in a statement.

“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement,” he said. “We've come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency of the LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality.”

“While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights.”