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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 Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.