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Security guards keep watch next to the Olympic Rings while people take part in a protest against the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department issued a "Do Not Travel" warning for Japan, citing the surge in coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, with thousands of athletes from all over the globe set to arrive in the city.

  • The travel advisory is a level 4, the highest cautionary warning the department puts out.

Situational awareness: After lifting their state of emergency, Japan has had a big increase in reported COVID-19 cases.

  • Vaccinations are also moving slowly: only 1.8% of Japan's population are fully vaccinated.

What they're saying: The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, a group of roughly 6000 doctors, wrote a letter recently calling for Japan to cancel the Olympics.

  • "We strongly request that the authorities convince the [International Olympic Committee] that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games,” the association said in its statement to the Washington Post.
  • Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of e-commerce business Rakuten, told CNN on Friday that hosting the games would be a "suicide mission."

Go deeper: Japan's 11th hour COVID Olympics nightmare

Go deeper

Sep 1, 2021 - Health

Idaho governor calls on National Guard to help hospitals as COVID-19 cases surge

Idaho Gov. Brad Little. Photo: Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday announced he is reactivating the National Guard and directing up to 370 additional people to help hospitals as they reach capacity.

Why it matters: There were only four intensive care unit beds available Tuesday in the entire state, out of nearly 400, the Republican governor wrote in a news release. There are more COVID-19 patients in ICU beds in the state "than ever before. The vast majority of them are unvaccinated," the release states.

Florida withholds funds from 2 school districts over mask mandates

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida's Department of Education announced Monday it has withheld funds from two districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' order banning mask mandates in schools.

Driving the news: Amid a surge of COVID-19 cases largely driven by the Delta variant, several Florida school districts have implemented mask mandates, despite threats from the Republican governor and state officials to withhold funds for doing so.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker