The International Olympic Committee should postpone this summer’s Tokyo Games or cancel them altogether.

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It’s the only responsible thing to do as the coronavirus threat continues unabated throughout most of the world.

The Japanese government recently expanded emergency measures to combat what top health experts acknowledge is a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases there. It closed restaurants, bars, movie theaters and department stores in Tokyo and banned spectators from attending sporting events.

Yet the IOC continues to plow ahead with plans to fly in 11,000 athletes and hundreds of coaches and officials from 200 countries. It’s reckless.

When the IOC in March 2020 postponed plans to hold the Games last summer, it said the delay would ensure they would serve this summer as a beacon of hope for the end of the pandemic. The emergence of highly contagious coronavirus variants and the slow progress of vaccinations makes that impossible.

Proceeding with the Games risks making the Tokyo Olympics one of the worst superspreader events in history.

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Consider the implications of the current IOC plan: Thousands of athletes and coaches from around the world would interact for two weeks with each other and staff members from the host country. Then they would go home to reunite with families and friends. The thought must send chills down the spines of public health officials.

The IOC said Friday that it would offer vaccine doses to athletes and visitors before they arrive in Japan. But without a vaccination requirement, the threat remains too significant to ignore.

The vaccination offer was the latest attempt by Olympic officials to counter serious concerns from residents of Japan. That’s right. The public there largely opposes allowing the Games to begin July 23.

A Kyodo News poll in April showed 72% of Japan’s residents favored either postponing or canceling the games. An online petition calling on the Japanese government to call off the Games collected 230,000 signatures in only two days. And Reuters reported last week that a survey of more than 1,000 Japanese doctors showed 75% believed it was better to postpone the Games.

The opposition is understandable. While nearly one-third of Americans have been fully vaccinated, only about 2% of Japan’s population of 125 million have received their first shot.

Japan has not seen the case rates experienced in the United States, India and Brazil. But the country’s health officials have expressed concern that the Olympics could put residents at unnecessary risk and exacerbate the current concerning trends. Daily cases have been increasing since early March, and the daily death toll has increased steadily since early April.

The legitimate public health concerns should outweigh the financial concerns driving the IOC, which generates about 75% of its revenues from network agreements to broadcast the Olympics, including an estimated $4 billion from the last Summer and Winter Games.

The IOC has an obligation to put public safety before profits this summer and postpone or cancel the Tokyo Olympics.