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European leaders seized more power during the pandemic. Few have ‘exit plans’ to hand it back

The move was seen as controversial by some of Macron’s liberal allies: after all, instructing your citizens to be home by a certain time and tracking their medical information is hardly consistent with France’s liberal traditions. It wasn’t long ago that the French president was extolling the values of democracy. Speaking to the US Congress…

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European leaders seized more power during the pandemic. Few have ‘exit plans’ to hand it back

The move was seen as controversial by some of Macron’s liberal allies: after all, instructing your citizens to be home by a certain time and tracking their medical information is hardly consistent with France’s liberal traditions.

It wasn’t long ago that the French president was extolling the values of democracy. Speaking to the US Congress in 2018, he paid tribute to the “sanctuary of democracy” he was addressing and reminded the world of the words “emblazoned on the flags of the French revolutionaries, ‘Vivre libre ou mourir.’ Live free or die.” Ironic, given the president’s apparent eagerness to boss his citizens around to stop the spread of a deadly virus.

Macron’s loosening relationship with democracy doesn’t stop at tracking who’s been injected and forcing people indoors. Throughout the pandemic, the president has reduced the role that his parliament plays in scrutinizing his policy announcements.

“Parliament’s role in France is more limited under the new state of health emergency than before,” said Joelle Grogan, senior lecturer in UK public and EU law at the University of Middlesex. “There is no obligation for governments and administrations to send copies of orders they adopt to parliament.”

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) recently published a comprehensive study on how governments across the European Union had responded in the context of democracy and the rule of law. France was listed as a country of “significant concern” for the extent to which its government has subverted legal norms.

France is not the only EU nation that has backslid on democracy.

In Austria, Slovenia, Belgium and Lithuania to name a few, there is serious concern that governments have misused existing laws to restrict the liberty of citizens. In fact, DRI listed only Spain out of the 27 EU member states as a country of “no concern” when it came to parliamentary or legal oversight of Covid measures.

The most egregious example probably comes from Hungary, where the government passed legislation that allowed it to rule by decree with no judicial review.

Courts in Cyprus and the Czech Republic claimed to have no jurisdiction over coronavirus measures. This significantly reduced moves to safeguard any attempted government overreach.

A central concern of DRI’s report is that few European countries have a clear “exit plan” for ending states of emergency and returning to normal ways of governance.

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protesters demonstrate in Paris on the first day of a new four-week lockdown on March 20, 2021.

This is a real concern in the case of France. Phillippe Marlière, professor of French and European politics at University College London, notes that in recent years, France has introduced numerous states of emergency in response to terror attacks. Many of the measures introduced at these times concerning personal liberty have remained in place.

“I would bet that a lot of the illiberal measures that have come in under Covid, like the health pass and threats of curfews will remain in place or be seen again,” he said. “Politicians are very good at taking authority but less good at handing it back.”

There is particular concern among some that Macron, who is facing election next year, might see keeping a tight grip on power as advantageous.

“The French president has more power on paper than the American [resident. He can control the police, the army, all domestic policy, all foreign policy. He even appoints his own prime minister,” said Marlière. “This, combined with someone seeking re-election who is already shifting to the right on issues like Islam with no real oversight is very concerning.”

More worryingly, the DRI report also states that only five EU member states — the Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal — have adequate exit strategies for a return to normal.

“It’s far easier to govern by decree than to govern within limits, so it’s obvious why leaders would want to hang onto powers,” said Grogan, who also noted that undermining the rule of law has been a problem within the EU for some time.

Police officers check a demonstrator during an anti-lockdown demonstration in Budapest, Hungary, on January 31, 2021.

In recent years, Hungary and Poland had both abused the rule of law to such an extent that article 7 of the EU’s treaty, which, if approved by all member states, would restrict both nations’ voting rights with the EU and restrict access to EU money, has been triggered against both.

The problem is that both Hungary and Poland are able to veto actions against the other, rendering the EU somewhat toothless. “What happens next is the big problem. We can talk about legal mechanisms and the laws. But ultimately we need political consensus,” Grogan adds.

Last summer, Brussels tried to force Hungary and Poland to fall in line though a mechanism in the EU’s long-term budget, but ultimately choked at the last minute and agreed a fudge in order to get the bloc’s Covid recovery funds approved.

That was two member states. What happens when it’s many more is a real unknown for the EU.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of using the pandemic to grab emergency powers in France.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has a long history of undermining his country's democratic institutions.

“Fundamentally, the EU is a legal structure. It exists to obligate mutual rights between states and citizens,” said Grogan. “But it would be remiss to ignore the complexity beyond that. As Brexit proved it is a group of states deciding to be part of the club. Brexit showed us you can leave, but the problem is if someone doesn’t accept the values and doesn’t want to leave, it is legally impossible to remove a state.”

Where this ends is anyone’s guess. The EU is unlikely to fall apart, as many have predicted, but it is possible that Euroskeptics across the bloc can force changes that undermine the whole thing. And if you were looking for a way to destabilize the EU, making a mockery of the rule of law would be a good place to start.

“We’re seeing, as usual with emergencies, a shift of power towards the executive with oversight from parliaments, judiciary and other bodies getting weaker,” said Jakub Jaraczewski, research coordinator at DRI.

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“The EU could work towards better legal oversight — be it through the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency or even through the Court of Justice. But that would require political will from the leadership in member states for the central EU to take control of policy areas they prefer to keep close to their chests.”

It’s sometimes said that EU law is a complicated mess of narrow political interests dressed in a legal cloak. Those narrow political interests have had a greater impact on the bloc’s direction of travel than the ideals that supposedly unite 27 vastly different nations.

For the best part of a decade, member states bickering over precisely what Europe should be and how it should respond to crises has been the hardest thing for the EU to navigate. The disregard for law, however, is a more fundamental headache than disagreements on migration or how money should be spent.

When politics returns to something resembling normal, Brussels might find itself with more than just Poland and Hungary on the naughty step. And if these recent delinquents decide that their newfound powers matter more to them than keeping their EU neighbors happy, there is very little that EU grandees can do to stop the fallout destabilizing the whole bloc.

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This Florida mother has been living in her teen daughter’s ICU room for days, praying she survives Covid-19

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This Florida mother has been living in her teen daughter’s ICU room for days, praying she survives Covid-19
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Tsunami warning in effect for parts of the Alaskan coast after an 8.2 earthquake
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‘We’re not satisfied yet’: World No. 1 men’s beach volleyball duo on rising through the ranks ahead of Tokyo 2020

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‘We’re not satisfied yet’: World No. 1 men’s beach volleyball duo on rising through the ranks ahead of Tokyo 2020
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The 30-year-old broke away from the leading group more than 40 kms from the end and spent much of the race so far ahead of the chasing pack that she was out of sight of the other cyclists.”,”descriptionText”:”Anna Kiesenhofer secured Austria’s first cycling gold medal since 1896 with a shock win. The 30-year-old broke away from the leading group more than 40 kms from the end and spent much of the race so far ahead of the chasing pack that she was out of sight of the other cyclists.”},{“title”:”How the world’s best pole vaulter handles stress”,”duration”:”02:17″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/21/armand-duplantis-tips-for-stress-lbb-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/21/armand-duplantis-tips-for-stress-lbb-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210721163850-armand-duplantis-stress-2-large-169.jpeg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/21/armand-duplantis-tips-for-stress-lbb-orig.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”Armand “Mondo” Duplantis holds the world record in pole vault and he’s sharing his tips on managing stress in competition to help the rest of us manage stress in everyday life. “,”descriptionText”:”Armand “Mondo” Duplantis holds the world record in pole vault and he’s sharing his tips on managing stress in competition to help the rest of us manage stress in everyday life. “},{“title”:”This 45-year-old gymnast is set to compete in her 8th Olympics”,”duration”:”02:14″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2020/07/07/oksana-chusovitina-uzbekistan-olympics-res-amw-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2020/07/07/oksana-chusovitina-uzbekistan-olympics-res-amw-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200707114548-oksana-chusovitina-london-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2020/07/07/oksana-chusovitina-uzbekistan-olympics-res-amw-orig.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina is revered as a gymnastics icon for setting the world record as the oldest gymnast to compete in the Olympics. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/don-riddell” target=”_blank”>Don Riddell u003c/a>reports on her legacy as she trains for her 8th Olympics in Tokyo.”,”descriptionText”:”Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina is revered as a gymnastics icon for setting the world record as the oldest gymnast to compete in the Olympics. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/don-riddell” target=”_blank”>Don Riddell u003c/a>reports on her legacy as she trains for her 8th Olympics in Tokyo.”},{“title”:”Former Olympian on startling statistic about childhood swimming rates”,”duration”:”03:23″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/26/lia-neal-diversity-swimming-olympics-oneworld-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/26/lia-neal-diversity-swimming-olympics-oneworld-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210726150017-video-thumbnail-lia-neal-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/26/lia-neal-diversity-swimming-olympics-oneworld-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”CNN’s Eleni Giokos speaks with retired Olympic swimmer Lia Neal, who won two gold medals for the US and was the first African-American woman to swim in an Olympic final for the US, about the lack of diversity in professional swimming. “,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Eleni Giokos speaks with retired Olympic swimmer Lia Neal, who won two gold medals for the US and was the first African-American woman to swim in an Olympic final for the US, about the lack of diversity in professional swimming. “},{“title”:”Tokyo 2020 Games officially underway after yearlong delay”,”duration”:”02:22″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/24/tokyo-2020-olympic-games-underway-ripley-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/24/tokyo-2020-olympic-games-underway-ripley-pkg-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210723112530-94-olympics-072321-opening-ceremony-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/24/tokyo-2020-olympic-games-underway-ripley-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”The Olympics Opening Ceremony u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-23-21-spt/index.html” target=”_blank”>officially kicked off the Tokyo 2020 Gamesu003c/a>, which were delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. CNN’s u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/profiles/will-ripley” target=”_blank”>Will Ripleyu003c/a> reports.”,”descriptionText”:”The Olympics Opening Ceremony u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-23-21-spt/index.html” target=”_blank”>officially kicked off the Tokyo 2020 Gamesu003c/a>, which were delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. CNN’s u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/profiles/will-ripley” target=”_blank”>Will Ripleyu003c/a> reports.”},{“title”:”China looks to outshine Japan at next year’s winter Olympic games”,”duration”:”03:17″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/26/geopolitical-rivals-china-japan-olympic-games-wang-dnt-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/26/geopolitical-rivals-china-japan-olympic-games-wang-dnt-newday-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210726072714-beijing-2022-large-169.jpeg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/26/geopolitical-rivals-china-japan-olympic-games-wang-dnt-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”These are not the Olympics of Japan’s dreams. The Games were supposed to be a comeback after decades of economic stagnation and devastation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. With geopolitical rival China hosting the Winter Olympics, Japan wants to avoid losing center stage. CNN’s Selina Wang reports. “,”descriptionText”:”These are not the Olympics of Japan’s dreams. The Games were supposed to be a comeback after decades of economic stagnation and devastation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. With geopolitical rival China hosting the Winter Olympics, Japan wants to avoid losing center stage. CNN’s Selina Wang reports. “},{“title”:”How Michael Phelps is feeling not participating in Tokyo”,”duration”:”02:20″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/26/michael-phelps-coy-wire-intv-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/26/michael-phelps-coy-wire-intv-sot-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191211145425-michael-phelps-rio-2016-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/26/michael-phelps-coy-wire-intv-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/coy-wire-profile” target=”_blank”>Coy Wire u003c/a>sits down with swimming legend Michael Phelps about the mental health of athletes amidst the pandemic and life as an Olympics spectator now he has retired.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/coy-wire-profile” target=”_blank”>Coy Wire u003c/a>sits down with swimming legend Michael Phelps about the mental health of athletes amidst the pandemic and life as an Olympics spectator now he has retired.”},{“title”:”See Tokyo 2020 Olympics from above “,”duration”:”02:24″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/07/23/cnn-flies-over-tokyo-olympics-2020-ripley-dnt-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/07/23/cnn-flies-over-tokyo-olympics-2020-ripley-dnt-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210722203450-tokyo-stadium-aerial-ripley-pkg-vpx-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/07/23/cnn-flies-over-tokyo-olympics-2020-ripley-dnt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”CNN’s Will Ripley takes a look at the city of Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympics, where a growing number of athletes have tested positive for Covid-19 and venues sit nearly empty.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Will Ripley takes a look at the city of Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympics, where a growing number of athletes have tested positive for Covid-19 and venues sit nearly empty.”},{“title”:”FBI warns of potential for cyberattacks during Olympics”,”duration”:”02:25″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/07/23/olympic-cyberattacks-russia-marquardt-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/07/23/olympic-cyberattacks-russia-marquardt-newday-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210723092829-olympic-fireworks-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/world/2021/07/23/olympic-cyberattacks-russia-marquardt-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”CNN’s Alex Marquardt looks into the possibility of cyberattacks during the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. “,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Alex Marquardt looks into the possibility of cyberattacks during the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. “},{“title”:”See protesters outside Olympics opening ceremony “,”duration”:”01:03″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/23/protesters-opening-ceremony-tokyo-olympics-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/23/protesters-opening-ceremony-tokyo-olympics-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210723134518-video-thumbnail-olympic-opening-ceremony-protests-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/23/protesters-opening-ceremony-tokyo-olympics-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”u003ca href=”https://edition.cnn.com/profiles/selina-wang” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Selina Wangu003c/a> reports from Tokyo, Japan, as theu003ca href=”https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-23-21-spt/index.html” target=”_blank”> opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympicsu003c/a> gets underway and protesters gather outside the stadium. “,”descriptionText”:”u003ca href=”https://edition.cnn.com/profiles/selina-wang” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Selina Wangu003c/a> reports from Tokyo, Japan, as theu003ca href=”https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-23-21-spt/index.html” target=”_blank”> opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympicsu003c/a> gets underway and protesters gather outside the stadium. “},{“title”:”Tokyo Olympics’ economic losses will be ‘enormous,’ says Suntory CEO “,”duration”:”03:28″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/07/21/olympic-games-tokyo-2020-sponsors-suntory-ceo-wang-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/07/21/olympic-games-tokyo-2020-sponsors-suntory-ceo-wang-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210721160431-olympic-games-tokyo-2020-sponsors-suntory-ceo-wang-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00001722-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/07/21/olympic-games-tokyo-2020-sponsors-suntory-ceo-wang-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”Olympic sponsors have been left frustrated at the absence of spectators at the majority of Olympic events. Not only do they risk losing their returns on investment and high-profile tickets for the events for their executives and clients, some have expressed fears of a consumer backlash. Japanese companies had paid a record $3 billion dollars to sponsor the Games — and many had paid out extra to extend contracts after the Games were postponed beyond 2020. u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/selina-wang” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Selina Wangu003c/a> speaks exclusively with Olympic sponsors and the CEO of Suntory, one of Japan’s biggest beverage makers, who says the Games are losing their commercial value.”,”descriptionText”:”Olympic sponsors have been left frustrated at the absence of spectators at the majority of Olympic events. Not only do they risk losing their returns on investment and high-profile tickets for the events for their executives and clients, some have expressed fears of a consumer backlash. Japanese companies had paid a record $3 billion dollars to sponsor the Games — and many had paid out extra to extend contracts after the Games were postponed beyond 2020. u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/selina-wang” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Selina Wangu003c/a> speaks exclusively with Olympic sponsors and the CEO of Suntory, one of Japan’s biggest beverage makers, who says the Games are losing their commercial value.”},{“title”:”How skateboarding went mainstream in Japan “,”duration”:”03:04″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://edition.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/22/olympics-japan-skateboarding-osaka-daggers-essig-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/22/olympics-japan-skateboarding-osaka-daggers-essig-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210722121703-olympics-japan-skateboarding-osaka-daggers-essig-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx-00001027-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/22/olympics-japan-skateboarding-osaka-daggers-essig-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”As skateboarding makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, Japan’s home team is gunning for gold. CNN’s Blake Essig speaks with the Osaka Daggers, a cutting-edge street skateboarding crew, to trace the country’s skateboarding origins and explores how it’s gaining in popularity as it prepares to make a splash at the Summer Games. “,”descriptionText”:”As skateboarding makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, Japan’s home team is gunning for gold. CNN’s Blake Essig speaks with the Osaka Daggers, a cutting-edge street skateboarding crew, to trace the country’s skateboarding origins and explores how it’s gaining in popularity as it prepares to make a splash at the Summer Games. “},{“title”:”‘I feel worthless as a person’: Hear why US Paralympian quit team”,”duration”:”02:06″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/21/becca-meyers-us-paralympic-athlete-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/21/becca-meyers-us-paralympic-athlete-newday-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210721084312-becca-meyers-new-day-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/21/becca-meyers-us-paralympic-athlete-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”Becca Meyers, a deaf and blind American swimmer, has withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after she said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) denied her request to bring her mother to serve as her Personal Care Assistant. She speaks with CNN’s New Day.”,”descriptionText”:”Becca Meyers, a deaf and blind American swimmer, has withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after she said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) denied her request to bring her mother to serve as her Personal Care Assistant. She speaks with CNN’s New Day.”},{“title”:”‘This was my final curtain bow’: Athlete’s Olympic dreams crushed by Covid”,”duration”:”02:36″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2021/07/21/olympic-athletes-battle-covid-ripley-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”sports/2021/07/21/olympic-athletes-battle-covid-ripley-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210721104432-olympic-athletes-battle-covid-ripley-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx-00023529-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/sports/2021/07/21/olympic-athletes-battle-covid-ripley-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/2021-tokyo-olympics/”,”description”:”Hosting the Olympics during a pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for Japan, but there has also been a huge impact on the athletes themselves, some of whom suffered from Covid-19. CNN’s Will Ripley speaks to three athletes and hears some insight from CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta on how Covid-19 can impact athletic performance.”,”descriptionText”:”Hosting the Olympics during a pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for Japan, but there has also been a huge impact on the athletes themselves, some of whom suffered from Covid-19. CNN’s Will Ripley speaks to three athletes and hears some insight from CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta on how Covid-19 can impact athletic performance.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-8kughl’,”,”js-video_source-featured-8kughl”,true,true,’2021-tokyo-olympics’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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