U.S. President Joe Biden said Sunday the decision on whether the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should go ahead this summer must be "based on science."
The comments mark what is regarded to be the first time Biden has expressed his opinion on the issue of holding the events as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world.
Speaking on the Westwood One radio network during a halftime interview at Super Bowl LV, Biden said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is "working very hard to be in a position to be able to safely open the games and have the games, and I think that has to be based on science. Whether or not it is safe for that to occur. My prayer is that it will be."
Japan was originally scheduled to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games last summer, but they were postponed for a year amid the pandemic.
"Imagine, imagine all those Olympians who work for four years, four years for one shot and all of a sudden that opportunity gets lost," Biden said, adding that they "are the people that I feel such pain for, but we have to do it based on the science."
The U.S. president said, "We are a science-driven administration, I think the rest of the world's there too, I hope we can play, I hope it's possible, but it remains to be seen."