The attacks being leveled at the Tokyo Olympics are “political posturing,” former International Olympic Committee Vice President Dick Pound told Reuters on Wednesday, insisting the beleaguered extravaganza should and would go ahead in July.
Pound also said he was surprised at Japan’s slow coronavirus vaccine rollout and “puzzled” by the state of emergency.
With calls for cancellation at fever pitch, the Olympic bandwagon rolled out the big guns Thursday, with the EU and Japan offering a show of support hours after the White House said it had trust in the host’s commitment to prioritize health at the games.
Not to be outdone, the head of a doctors union in Japan warned that holding the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, with tens of thousands of people gathered from around the world, could lead to the development of a new “Olympic” strain of the virus.
A medical journal article published Tuesday, meanwhile, claimed to have found flaws in the IOC’s antiviral measures for athletes. “We believe urgent action is needed for these Olympic Games to proceed,” the authors wrote.
Yesterday’s (and last Thursday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 4,143 (5,721). By prefecture (100 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 684 (843), Hokkaido 570 (681), Aichi 394 (633), Osaka 309 (501), Okinawa 240 (198), Kanagawa 227 (308), Fukuoka 179 (399), Hyogo 162 (209), Hiroshima 153 (212), Saitama 130 (228), Chiba 121 (114). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker