U.S. First Lady Jill Biden departed Wednesday morning for a five-day trip to Tokyo, Japan to support the USA Team and athletes at the 2020 Olympics set to start this Friday after a year of delay. All spectators have been banned from the games and there have been more than 70 positive cases related to the Olympics.
According to the White House, “There’s been no change, [Jill Biden is] still planning on attending the games. The president, the first lady felt it was important to have the delegation lead at the highest level. So, she is looking forward to continuing her travels.”
Biden also has at least two diplomatic events to attend while she’s in Tokyo. According to Biden’s press secretary, the first lady will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on the first day. The following day, Biden will meet with the members of Team USA virtually.
Biden will also attend the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday. This will not be Biden’s first time attending the Olympics to support American athletes; in 2010, she and then-Vice President Joe Biden attended the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Although the focus of the first lady’s trip is visiting Japan and attending the Olympics, she is also taking the opportunity to visit several states in the U.S. to encourage the Covid-19 vaccinations.
Biden’s press secretary said that the first lady is aware of the rising concerns of Covid-19 and Delta variant in Japan and she and her staff will take “full precaution” while attending the 2020 Olympics.
“They will be following very strict safety and health protocols limiting engagement with the public, keeping our footprint as small as possible,” said the secretary.