With the Tokyo Olympics right around the corner, the likelihood of COVID playing a factor has casted a shadow on the entire event. But it’s definitely too late to contemplate canceling the whole thing, right? Maybe not.
The chief of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee had a press conference on Tuesday, and did not rule out a cancellation of the Olympics as more and more athletes are testing positive for COVID-19.
When asked if he would consider cancelling the Tokyo Olympics, Toshiro Muto said he would be keeping an eye on infection numbers in the coming days and weeks.
“We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” Muto said via ESPN.
“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”
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Japan is currently experiencing a surge in positive tests, with over 1,500 people testing positive for the deadly virus on Tuesday.
Seiko Hashimoto, the organizing committee president, said that they were planning on keeping the Olympics “bubble” to keep athletes and Tokyo citizens safe. But she also admitted that she was aware of the public perception of the event.
“I really want to apologize from my heart for the accumulation of frustrations and concerns that the public has been feeling towards the Olympics,” Hashimoto told the same news conference.
It was probably a terrible idea to go forward with the Tokyo Olympics in an area of the world where COVID is currently surging and vaccination rates are low. What exactly did these organizers expect?