“We are still assessing the possibility of First Lady attending and our advance team arrives in Tokyo on Friday,” Michael LaRosa, the president’s secretary general, said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also told reporters on Thursday that the White House maintains its support for U.S. athletes traveling to Japan to compete in the Olympics.
“The President supports the Tokyo Olympics and the public health measures needed to protect athletes, staff and spectators. He is proud of the American athletes who have trained for the Tokyo Games and will compete in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit,”
The United States is in “close contact” with the Japanese government on planning and public health measures, Psaki added.
“We are well aware of the careful preparations, including the public health measures needed to protect athletes, staff and spectators, that the government and the international committee have implemented, which is why, as I said, we support the game going forward,” she said.
The decision to ban spectators comes as Tokyo reported 920 new infections by Wednesday – the highest daily case load since mid-May.
After the summer games were pushed back last year over concerns about the pandemic, Olympic organizers said last month that spectators would be allowed to participate in the games with a ceiling of 10,000 people per game. Meeting place or 50% of the meeting capacity. Organizers had already decided to ban overseas fans from the stands in March.
Earlier Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci trusted the Covid-19 security protocols at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo and suggested he was not worried about the first lady’s presence.
“It will be up to the first lady. I think there is no reason right now given the situation – the protocol to protect her health, I think, will also be quite strict, so I’m not worried about But the final choice of what she would do is, of course, up to her, “said Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical officer and the country’s top infectious disease expert, in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
Fauci noted “fairly strict and rigorous” protocols in place for the athletes, which he described as “quite impressive.”
As recently as last week, the president suggested that the first lady would probably attend the games and told reporters, “We’re trying to figure it out now. That’s the plan.”
CNN’s Junko Ogura, Chie Kobayashi and Nectar Gan contributed to this report.