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Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Axios Visuals

As cases continue dropping in Japan, officials are considering allowing domestic spectators into next month's Olympics.

Why it matters: Just over a month ago, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said she was prepared to hold the Games in front of empty stadiums, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

By the numbers: This change of heart has coincided with the plummeting rate of new cases.

  • After peaking on May 14 with a record high seven-day average of 6,460 cases, that number has dropped by nearly two thirds, to just 2,320.
  • Vaccine rollout, meanwhile, has accelerated, as they've begun their under-65 inoculations and have a program in place to vaccinate people at workplaces and universities beginning June 21.

The state of play: Foreign spectators have long since been banned, and foreign media will be carefully monitored by GPS during their stay in Tokyo.

  • Yes, but: Having some semblance of fans is important because "the athletes will not be able to give their best performances with zero spectators," said one high-ranking official in the prime minister's office.

What to watch: A decision regarding spectators is expected by June 20, when the country's state of emergency is scheduled to end, but there are some who fear a surge in new cases will follow once those nationwide protocols are relaxed.

Go deeper: Tokyo was picked as the "safe" choice for the Olympics. Here's how everything changed (CNN)

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Health

White House acknowledges U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration acknowledged on Tuesday that it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.