Let’s start with the obvious: The International Olympic Committee will not delay or cancel the upcoming Summer Olympics. The body that claims to stand for peace and for what is right will not allow important financial commitments to the once-delayed Tokyo Games to be undermined by a pandemic.
Now let’s also acknowledge that Japanese officials also seem brazenly stubborn: They could act in the best interests of the Japanese public and delay, or outright cancel, the Games. But they won’t.
The Diplomat picks up the story from there.
The Olympics risk becoming an incubator for “a Tokyo variant,” as 15,000 foreign athletes and tens of thousands of officials, sponsors, and journalists from about 200 countries descend on — and potentially mix with — a largely unvaccinated Japanese population, said Dr. Ueyama Naoto, a physician and head of the Japan Doctors Union.
With infections in Tokyo and other heavily populated areas currently at high levels and hospitals already under strain treating serious cases despite a state of emergency, experts have warned there is little slack in the system.
Even if the country succeeds in meeting its goal of fully vaccinating all 36 million elderly by the end of July — already a week into the Games — about 70 percent of the population would not be inoculated. And many have dismissed the target as overly optimistic anyway.
Let the Games and the infections begin.