News Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – Chairman and Ranking Member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, with jurisdiction over the health and safety of Olympic athletes – today wrote a letter to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), inquiring on the IOC’s plan to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 during the Olympic Games in Tokyo and protect the thousands of athletes, fans, sponsors and members of the media who will attend the games.

“Ensuring a safe and secure environment for athletes, fans, sponsors and members of the media from the threat of COVID-19 should be a top priority for the IOC, the Japanese Government, the Japanese Olympic Committee, and all National Olympic Committees around the world,” the senators wrote. “While there are indications that IOC has taken steps to protect travelers to the upcoming Olympic Games from this disease, many questions remain unanswered.”

Sens. Moran and Blumenthal requested Bach to answer the following questions:

  1. While we are aware that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has an Infectious Disease Advisory Group, what internal organizational measures or actions has the IOC taken, to date, to specifically address and coordinate plans to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games? 
  2. Were there infectious disease coordination protocols for the 2020 Olympic Games in place prior to the initial reports of the COVID-19 outbreak? If so, what were those protocols?
  3. Please describe in detail the IOC’s coordination efforts with the WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Government of Japan, and the relevant local health agencies in Tokyo to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games and the expected influx of attendees.
  4. Are there specific contingency plans to effectively respond to a confirmed case or cases of COVID-19 during the games? If so, what are these plans?
  5. Please describe the frequency and substance of communications with the participating NOCs and their members. 
  6. Are unique precautions being taken related to specific NOCs that are geographically located in countries with prevalent numbers of COVID-19 cases? If so, what are those measures?
  7. Please describe in detail any other relevant actions being taken by the IOC as it relates to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to view the signed letter.