A respected Japanese virologist on Wednesday said if the Tokyo Olympics were tomorrow, the games probably couldn’t be held because of the fast-spreading virus from Wuhan, China.
“We need to find the best way to have a safe Olympics,” Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani said, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “Right now we don’t have an effective strategy, and I think it may be difficult to have the Olympics (now). But by the end of July we may be in a different situation.”
The local Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee have repeatedly said over the last few weeks that they are following the advice of the World Health Organization and that the games will go on.
But with every passing day, the impact of the virus seems to spread, and so does the fallout: Olympic qualifying events are cancelled or postponed, travel gets difficult, and athletes and families are left wondering. Not to mention sponsors and broadcasting networks that have invested billions of dollars in the Olympics.
The modern Olympics dating from 1896 have only been cancelled during wartime, and in 1980 and 1984 they went on with boycotts.
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