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Public health experts were warned against “making waves” over Olympics

Mainichi front-paged a finding that an unnamed LDP politician well-versed in health and welfare issues phoned epidemiologists and other public health professionals on the GOJ coronavirus taskforce in early June and pressed them “not to make waves” over the Tokyo Olympics by saying that the Games would be held no matter what. The influential lawmaker reportedly reached out to the experts just when they were drafting a recommendation against hosting the international sporting event amid the coronavirus pandemic. While noting that other LDP Diet members also contacted them and asked them not to participate in the drafting process, one of the taskforce members said they were exposed to “extremely inappropriate pressure” and that he felt “scientists’ right to free speech was not ensured.”

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