Tokyo Olympics Chief Will Not Rule Out Last-Minute Cancellation

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As the Tokyo Olympics near, it appears that more and more athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. Recently, Team USA has had to place Jerami Grant, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine and Kara Eaker under health and safety protocols. Not to mention there have been more than 60 positive COVID-19 tests tied to athletes from the host nation of Japan and other competing countries. Needless to say, many are worried that the Tokyo Olympics could contribute to an international outbreak if more athletes and Olympic workers continue to test positive.

With less than one week left until the 2021 Summer Olympic Games are set to begin, there is still a question as to whether or not the event will take place. This week, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee chief Toshiro Muto suggested that a last-minute cancellation is not out of the realm of possibility.

"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.

"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."

Residents of Japan have raised concerns about the Tokyo Olympics as well. While the nation has reduced the number of COVID-19 related deaths in recent months, Japan, like America, has experienced a recent uptick in positive COVID-19 tests. In addition, less than 30% of the country's population has been fully vaccinated against the virus. Public support of the Tokyo Olympics has fallen in recent weeks and sponsors like Toyota have pulled their advertisements. Still, government officials from China, Japan, the United States and several other world powers have remained committed to holding the event.

"President Biden affirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving forward with all public health measures necessary to protect athletes, staff and spectators,” a report from Biden's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide Suga reads.

As it stands now, the Olympics are set to kick off on July 24 and run through August 8.

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