The White House announced Tuesday that first lady Jill Biden will lead the official U.S. delegation at the Tokyo Olympics on July 23 without her husband, U.S. President Joe Biden.
News of her trip comes days after Tokyo officials, upon consultation with Olympic officials, decided to hold the Olympic games without fans, after recent surges in COVID-19 cases prompted the Japanese government to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and the surrounding area.
White House Press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in a recent briefing that a White House advance team had been sent to Tokyo to assess the feasibility of Jill Biden’s visit. Last week, she said that despite the increase in coronavirus cases, the president still supports U.S. athletes traveling there for the competition.
The trip will be the first lady’s first solo international trip since her husband took office. She previously accompanied the president on his trip to Britain for the G-7 leaders' summit and has kept a busy domestic travel schedule in recent months as part of the administration's efforts to encourage vaccinations.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters news services.