A former Alaska Governor and several ambassadors asked President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Wednesday not to boycott the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics due to U.S. refusal to allow Canadian athletes to bring home more booster shots against the Zika virus. “I sincerely doubt that Canadian athletes will be invited to the Olympics, which could affect participation of our athletes, if we don’t agree to their request to accept U.S. athletes who have booster shots against the Zika virus,” wrote former Alaskan Gov. Sean Parnell (R).
Great Story on @FoxNewsTonight about Protecting Kids from Zika.
Too bad #TeamUSA won’t take this into consideration when they should insist their Canadian competitors get 2-3 pre- Olympics Zika shots.. pic.twitter.com/e0B6yt8wDT — Governor Sean Parnell (@GovParnellAK) May 9, 2019
Ambassadors Wesley Clark, Michael O’Hanlon, Frank Wisner, and Charles Schultze were also signed the letter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would not make exceptions to the Pyeongchang agreement that prevents American teams from bringing home protective measures during the Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024. A federal rule that says any extra protection shots Canadian athletes and staff would be required to get. But if under the bilateral agreement, Team USA would lose out on a favorable location and time with their 2018 competitors.
Then Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price was sent to talk to the Canadian Embassy as well, twice, and “got a good reception,” a diplomat said.
While we might be better served skipping a couple Olympics, that doesn’t mean you can’t reconsider the two agreements made as a way to avoid making Americans vulnerable.
Do not skip summer? Have a plan for winter? That’s the key.
One non-Zika-case booster vaccination is for PrEP, which has become a popular form of preventative treatment for the virus. PrEP is now used for both the Aids-1 and the more aggressive HIV cases.
In general, there is a universal agreement that people who cannot participate in the Olympics, due to the Zika virus, would rather be indoors that side-street.
It is bizarre.
At a minimum, a second round of protection shots will protect against viral B and C, also called CMV. Many will say the virus can’t come back. Scientists disagree. While the virus is an analog to Zika, the virus is far less virulent than Zika. Also, unlike the Zika virus, this one is resistant to being killed by the same anti-viral drugs we were able to fight Zika with.
Trump may want to revise his previous views and take this issue back up with our closest allies.
“We have routinely immunized Olympic teams from the competition outside of the Olympic Games,” Department of State spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters in March. Nauert also said that the World Health Organization has urged countries with large populations to work together to get all travelers who are going to compete to get their travel vaccinations.
A World Health Organization (WHO) statement from 2012 should be enough to remind the White House to work with our closest allies, and shouldn’t cause the US athlete to get too angry and want to boycott the competition.
“People should have adequate exposure to the information to be able to make decisions about the use of preventive medicine, and to report any instances of current or potential medical harm caused by the preventive medicine,” WHO said in the statement.
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) should be working with his State Department counterparts to find a solution.
Ken Blackwell, former Director of Domestic Policy Initiatives at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council.