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Scientists Call for Olympics to Be Moved Over Zika Concern

Of course, the games could be moved to Venezuela...

Dan Gilmore · Jun. 9, 2016

The only thing worse than spending a ton of money on the Olympics is spending a ton of money on them only to have them canceled or moved. Now, with the 2016 Olympics about a month away, a group of 200 scientists signed a letter to the World Health Organization recommending that the games be moved from Rio de Janeiro over concerns that the gathering could trigger a worldwide spread of Zika.

“It is indisputable that holding the Games as scheduled has a greater risk of accelerating the spread of the Brazilian viral strain than the alternatives,” wrote the scientists that included medical school professors and researchers of infectious diseases. “Postponing and/or moving the Games also mitigates other risks brought on by historic turbulence in Brazil’s economy, governance, and society at large — which are not isolated problems, but context that makes the Zika problem all but impossible to solve with the Games fast approaching.”

The scientists are directing their criticism at the WHO because the group is saying Zika poses no threat to the games. But the WHO has a conflict of interest, as it has a secret memorandum of understanding with the International Olympic Committee.

And Zika isn’t the only health concern surrounding the 2016 Olympics. The water surrounding Rio is polluted with untreated sewage and at least one Olympic athlete needed emergency surgery after minor cuts on his leg became infected.

Games were canceled or moved in the past because of an international health concern. As recently as 2003, the Women’s World Cup was moved from China over concerns about SARS. The whole situation just goes to show that the price to host the Olympics has become outrageous. Totalitarian nations see it as a way to strut before the world, façades and all. Last year, Boston had the right idea. After its mayor said he would not put taxpayers’ money on the line to build the specialized infrastructure to support the Olympics, the IOC cut them from the running. Of course, the games could be moved to Venezuela, where the world could see first hand the wonders of socialism…

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