RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — In what could be a devastating blow to the 2016 Summer Olympics more than 100 leading doctors from around the world want the games in Rio to be either postponed, or moved, due to the threat of Zika.
In a letter to the World Health Organization, the doctors wrote this move would be “in the name of public health.” Makes sense when you consider about 500,000 tourists are expected to show up for the games before, you know, going back home.
These doctors say the Brazilian strain of Zika harms health in ways that haven’t been seen before. That’s in addition to Microcephaly, a birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is calling BS.
“There is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC. “We say if you’re pregnant, don’t go somewhere where Zika is spreading. If you have to go somewhere where Zika is spreading and you’re pregnant, be really careful about Mosquito bites. And if you’re a male in a place where Zika is spreading, and your partner is pregnant, use a condom.”
The International Olympic Committee says there are no plans to delay or move the Rio games. But the U.S. Olympic Committee has told its athletes they can skip the games if they’re concerned.
This is also coming a little late in the game. The Olympics are scheduled to begin on August 5th.