COVID-19 becomes a political issue at the Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (NEXSTAR) – Outside the Olympic bubble, COVID-19 numbers continue to rise to record levels. Protests against the games are taking place in the city of Tokyo.

“I think it’s a miracle we’re all here,” said former Executive Director of the International Olympic Committee Michael Payne.

Tokyo hosts the Olympics during a global pandemic, and COVID-19 numbers have skyrocketed since the games began. The city broke another record on Saturday with more than 4,000 new cases.

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From an outsider’s perspective, empty stadiums make sense, but Payne is disappointed.

“You initially turned on the television, what’s the problem. Because you have local baseball spectators, you have local sumo spectators, ”Payne said. “So – hang out.” It is prohibited for the Olympic Games, but not prohibited for other events. Someone is playing games.

Payne believes the decision is politically motivated.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Olympics have been used in this way. In the midst of the Cold War, the United States boycotted the Moscow games in 1980, and four years later Russia returned the favor.

Payne said he believed the Tokyo Games were “clearly caught in the crossfire of a major political battle between the governor of Tokyo and the prime minister.”

Those who suffer the biggest losses are the Japanese, who cannot see their own matches.


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