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Olympic rings displayed outside the National Stadium. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics, said Wednesday that the summer games rescheduled for next July won't be possible if the coronavirus pandemic continues in its current state, AP reports.

The state of play: The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have expressed confidence that the games will take place, but said that another delay would not be possible and that the Olympics would instead be canceled.

What they're saying: "It would be too much for us to answer each of these hypothetical questions,” Mori told Japanese broadcaster NHK. “I don’t think this situation will last for another year.”

  • “Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus. Specifically, to develop a vaccine or drug is the first point.”

By the numbers: Japan has seen a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, reporting an average of about 500 new infections per day. The country has reported over 25,000 cases and 1,000 deaths in total.

  • The International Olympic Committee anticipates all 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes to compete at 42 venues.

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Oct 29, 2020 - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president"

Michael Caputo. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In September, Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo privately pitched one branch of the agency's $250 million coronavirus ad campaign with the theme: "Helping the President will Help the Country," according to documents released by House Democrats on the Oversight Committee on Thursday.

Why it matters: These are the latest documents that suggest the deep politicization of the Trump administration's coronavirus response.