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Checking In On The Tokyo Olympics As Cases Surge And Officials Warn Americans Not To Travel To Japan




HIMEJI, JAPAN - MAY 23: The Olympic flame burns in the cauldron during day one of the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay Hyogo at Himeji Castle on May 23, 2021 in Himeji, Hyogo, Japan.
HIMEJI, JAPAN - MAY 23: The Olympic flame burns in the cauldron during day one of the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay Hyogo at Himeji Castle on May 23, 2021 in Himeji, Hyogo, Japan.
Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

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The Japanese government Tuesday was quick to deny a U.S. warning for Americans to avoid traveling to Japan would have an impact on Olympians wanting to compete in the postponed Tokyo Games. U.S. officials cited a surge in coronavirus cases in Japan caused by virus variants that may even be risky to vaccinated people. 

They didn’t ban Americans from visiting Japan, but the warnings could affect insurance rates and whether Olympic athletes and other participants decide to join the games that open on July 23. Most metro areas in Japan are under a state of emergency and expected to remain so through mid-June because of rising serious COVID-19 cases that are putting pressure on the country’s medical care systems. That raises concern about how the country could cope with the arrival of tens of thousands of Olympic participants if its hospitals remain stressed and little of its population is vaccinated. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the issue. Do you have questions? Call 866-893-5722.

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

Philip Hersh, former Chicago Tribune sports writer and Olympic specialist, he covered 19 games over almost 40 years and currently writes on the topic in his blog “Globetrotting;” he tweets @olyphil