President Donald Trump had Twitter fired up on Monday morning when he tweeted about the United States' participation in the 2020 Olympics. He wrote that he will follow the guidance of Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in deciding whether or not to attend the event. Many criticized the president's non-committal statement.
Trump's tweet about the 2020 Summer Olympics came the morning after leaders in Australia and Canada both revealed that their countries will not be attending the games this year unless they are postponed. According to a report by CBS Sports, The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee both advocated for delaying the Olympics until 2021. Hours later, similar groups in Australia said the same, saying that it was unsafe to hold the competition during the coronavirus global pandemic.
We will be guided by the wishes of Prime Minister Abe of Japan, a great friend of the United States and a man who has done a magnificent job on the Olympic Venue, as to attending the Olympic Games in Japan. He will make the proper decision!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
The 2020 Olympics were planned to take place in Tokyo, Japan at the end of July. In their statement published on Sunday night, Canadian officials addressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC), implying that it was they would have the final decision on whether or not to go forward with the games.
"While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community," read the statement.
Still, in his tweet on Monday morning, Trump deferred to Abe, the leader of the host country. A short while later, Abe himself said that the Olympics might be postponed.
"The IOC's decision is along the lines of what I said before, of holding the event in its complete form. If that becomes difficult — and thinking first about the health of the athletes — we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games," he said, according to a report by CNN.
Still, the tweet did not sit well with many of the president's followers. Here is what Twitter has to say.
Many users all along the political spectrum were upset by the idea of the president taking his cue from another foreign leader, rather than being proactive in doing what is best for his country. They felt that the president should state his own position now rather than waiting for others to show their hand first.
Everybody: pic.twitter.com/wuFnuAl6Aj— Eric Wolfson (@EricWolfson) March 23, 2020
Some said they were not surprised to hear the president considering such a large gathering this summer, against the advice of most medical experts.
At least someone is making the proper decision. Can we borrow Abe for a few months?— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) March 23, 2020
Others joked that the president should relinquish even more responsibility to Abe or other world leaders to get the U.S. through the coronavirus pandemic.
My god you’re useless ! pic.twitter.com/M8fEA6nhmO— Marc-André🇨🇦 (@BagdMilkSoWhat) March 23, 2020
Many people were surprised to see the Olympics even up for discussion on Monday morning, thinking that there were much more pressing issues to worry about. They asked the president to concentrate on urgent issues.
We should follow the guidelines prescribed by the Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo regarding the attendance at the Olympic Games to be held in Japan. In this connection his decision will be considered as a proper step. PM Abe of Japan is a great friend of the United States and.— saumen ray (@saumen70) March 23, 2020
Some did say that the president's tweet was reasonable, agreeing that Abe was well-placed to make an informed decision on the 2020 Olympics one way or the other. They noted the friendship between the U.S. and Japan, feeling that it was worth preserving by showing trust in Abe.
Japan must postpone the Olympic Games to 2021 or the United States must pull out of the Olympics to protect our own people and the world. Holding the games while the coronavirus pandemic ravages the globe is not humane nor is it in the spirit of the Olympic Games.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 23, 2020
On the other hand, many tweeted that there was nothing to justify the safety risk of the U.S. attending the 2020 Olympics. They criticized the president for even considering it publicly.
lmao you said the same about Xi a month ago. And now he is the evil creator of "Chinese virus"— Comfortably Numb (@YGalanter) March 23, 2020
China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
Finally, many criticized Trump's praise for Abe, noting other world leaders he had alternately praised and then turned against publicly. In particular, many pointed out Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. They noted that the president had praised Xi recently — likely referring to his tweet thanking the Chinese leader in January — and yet has recently placed the blame for the coronavirus pandemic on China itself.
Visit the CDC's website for the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic.