The Games Must Go On!
In May, the President and Vice President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and John Coates were not too worried that Japan was experiencing a COVID-19 spike. They thought that they really didn’t have to shut down the gala event because of COVID-19. The two seemingly were not worried that 10 areas in Japan were in a lockdown. Coates said that it was now “clearer than ever” that the Games would be safe for everyone participating, as well as the general public in Japan. Coates is not a doctor, or an infectious disease expert but he knew everything would be safe. Except everything is not safe. COVID-19 infections are rising in Tokyo and that has forced a new state of emergency in Tokyo. That condition will run from July 12th through August 22nd. That means there will be no customers in attendance for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics which means there will be another massive money hit for the IOC and the local host committee as there is no revenue coming in. Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been slow. Just over 15% of the country is fully vaccinated. There is rising concern over the threat of the Delta variant.
But Bach was warned in May that the COVID-19 situation was serious. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association said hospitals “have their hands full” and had almost no capacity left to deal with a possible outbreak triggered by the Olympics. The medical group wanted the Japanese government to persuade the IOC to cancel the Games. Local governments of towns hosting Olympic events outside Tokyo reported they had no hospital beds to spare and they were going to refuse to set aside facilities for athletes if they were needed for local residents. But the Games Must Go On as a television production.
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