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With several weeks to go before the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Andrew said he won’t be taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Article by Jack Phillips from our partners at The Epoch Times.
The 22-year-old will compete in 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley, and 50-meter freestyle. He previously won the 100-meter individual medley during the world championships and last month placed first in the 100-meter U.S. Olympic Test Trials.
Andrew told Reuters and other reporters last week he won’t get the vaccine because he doesn’t want to experience any possible vaccine-related reactions.
“My reason behind it is—for one, it was in the last moment I didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to,” Andrew said. “As an athlete on the elite level, everything we do is very calculated. For me in the training cycles and especially at trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out, because there are periods where if you take a vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”
Athletes who are competing in the Olympics aren’t required to get the vaccine. Japan this week, however, declared a COVID-19-related emergency due to rising infections, leading Olympic organizers to ban all spectators when the Games start on July 23.
Later in a conference call, Andrew, who said he likely will not receive the vaccine in the “distant future, said he will comply with the COVID-19 testing and other protocols while in Tokyo. That includes, he said, “lots of testing, masks, socially distanced, obviously staying away from the crowds, everything like that.”
“USA Swimming and all of us here have been through a very strict protocol with lots of testing, masks, socially distant, obviously staying away from crowds, everything like that,” Andrew added.
USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey said that he believes “around 90 percent” of the U.S. national team has received the vaccine.
About three weeks ago, Buffalo Bills receiver similarly announced he wouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying he’d rather retire than receive the shot.
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“I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in public. If you’re scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated,” he wrote in a tweet. “I may die of COVID, but I’d rather die actually living.”
Beasley added: “Fine me if you want. My way of living and my values are more important to me than a dollar. I love my teammates and enjoy playing ball because all the outside bs goes out the window in these moments. I just want to win the Super Bowl and enjoy these relationships that will be created along the way.”
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The Epoch Times has contacted Team USA for comment.
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