Health Highlights: May 17, 2021

Most Japanese Want Olympic Games Delayed or Canceled: Poll

More than 8 in 10 people in Japan don't want their country to host the Olympics this summer, according to a poll conducted on the weekend as the nation combats a fourth COVID-19 wave.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to begin in just under 10 weeks. On Friday, Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency, The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. reported.

The telephone survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper found that 43% of more than 1,500 respondents want the Games canceled, 40% want a further postponement, and only 14% said the Games should go ahead as scheduled.

If the Games are held this summer, 59% of respondents said there shouldn't be any spectators, 33% said fewer fans should be allowed, and only 3% supported regular fan capacity, the Guardian reported.

In a separate survey by Kyodo News published Sunday, nearly 6 in 10 respondents supported canceling the Games, but further postponement was not included as an option in the poll.

The latest COVID-19 wave has put Japan's health care system under pressure, leading to repeated warnings from medical professionals about shortages and burnout, the Guardian reported.


New Mask Guidance Is Based on Science: CDC Director

The decision to ease mask rules for fully vaccinated Americans is based on science and not political pressure, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told media outlets on Sunday.

"I'm delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals. And it evolved," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on FOX NewsSunday, the Associated Press reported. "I deliver it as soon as I can when we have that information available."

New CDC guidelines released last week say that fully vaccinated people -- those who are at least two weeks past their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine -- don't need to wear a mask outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings, and no longer have to social distance.

But the CDC said that partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people should still wear masks, and recommended that masks still be used in crowded indoor settings such as buses, airplanes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, the AP reported.

The new mask guidance sparked praise from those eager to return to pre-pandemic life, particularly those who see it as a way to reopen workplaces, schools and other public venues.

Yet concerns have been raised from those who say there's no easy way for businesses and others to determine who is fully vaccinated and who is not.

"I would imagine within a period of just a couple of weeks, you're going to start to see significant clarification of some of the actually understandable and reasonable questions that people are asking," Dr. Anthony Fauci said on "Face the Nation."

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