Olympics, pandemic and politics: There’s no separating them

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TOKYO (AP) — Over and over, year after year, the stewards of the Olympics say it: The Games aren’t supposed to be political. But how do you avoid politics when you’re trying to pull off an event of this complexity during a lethal and protracted pandemic?

Consider:

— The Japanese medical community largely opposes these Olympics; the government’s main medical adviser, Dr. Shigeru Omi, has said it’s “abnormal” to hold them during a pandemic.

— Medical journals The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine have raised questions about the risks, with the former criticizing the World Health Organization for not taking a clear stand and the latter saying the IOC’s decision to proceed “is not informed by the best scientific evidence.”

— The second-largest selling newspaper in Japan, the Asahi Shimbun, has called for the Olympics to be canceled. So have other regional newspapers.

— There’s the risk of the Olympics spreading…

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