Pregnant 'Today' Show Anchor Savannah Guthrie Won't Attend Rio Olympics Over Zika Fears
The Today show's Savannah Guthrie is pregnant with her second child but with the happy announcement came a difficult decision: She will not fly to Rio for this summer’s Olympic games over Zika virus concerns.
The mosquito-born Zika virus has been blamed for microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with an abnormally small head, plus other severe birth defects.
Guthrie was scheduled to report the opening ceremonies with Matt Lauer. Many say she is making the right decision to stay home.
Dr. Lisa Masterson of The Doctors told Inside Edition: "If I was Savannah, I would make the same decision. It is extremely wise to take yourself out of harm’s way."
Many athletes are also not risking their health for the Rio games.
High profile American cyclist Tejay van Garderen announced that he won't go the Olympics because his wife is pregnant.
Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry also pulled out of the games, citing "several factors including recent ankle and knee injuries." He did not, however, mention Zika.
Basketball great LeBron James is undecided, reportedly due to Zika concerns.
U.S. soccer star Hope Solo says she'll begrudgingly go but has fears.
“I am very worried about my health,” she said. “No athlete should be put in this position to decide between your Olympic dreams and your health.”
Dr. Masterson said: "The athletes that are going to Rio should take precautions that the CDC has outlined and that is bringing mosquito repellant, wear protective clothing and make sure they sleep in air conditioned areas — that is very important."
But Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is taking a fierce approach. In a statement she said: "I'm going. This is my shot. I don't care about no stupid bugs."
More than 100 doctors and scientists have written a letter pleading for the Olympics to be postponed or canceled due to Zika.
The doctors released an open letter via The World Health Organization saying: “An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire the strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic. Should that happen to poor, as-yet unaffected places (e.g., most of South Asia and Africa) the suffering can be great. It is unethical to run the risk, just for Games that could proceed anyway, if postponed and/or moved.”