WASHINGTON (AP) – Doug Emhoff, wife of Vice President Kamala Harris, is making her first solo trip abroad and will lead a delegation to the Tokyo Paralympics later this month.
President Joe Biden made the announcement on Tuesday.
Emhoff will lead a small delegation of himself and one other to the Games which, like the Olympics, were delayed for a year because of the coronavirus and will also be held as Tokyo sees an increase in infections fueled by the more contagious delta variant of the virus.
He will attend the opening ceremony on August 24 with Raymond Greene, the US official in charge of the US embassy in Tokyo until an ambassador is sworn in.
About 4,400 physically disabled athletes from 160 countries will participate in more than 20 sporting events under strict public health measures, much like the Olympics, until September 5.
Japan has counted 1 million infections and more than 15,700 deaths from COVID-19, faring better than many countries, but the delta variant has caused many of the more recent cases and is accelerating the spread of the virus .
New daily cases in Tokyo more than doubled during the Olympics, which ended on Sunday, with 2,884 cases recorded on Monday.
Biden has asked his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, to attend the Olympics opening ceremony on July 23. She also met the Prime Minister, the Emperor and attended several Olympic competitions before returning to Washington.
Emhoff, a former entertainment lawyer, has traveled to more than 20 states since Biden and Harris took office in January. He mainly visited COVID-19 clinics and encouraged people to get vaccinated against the disease.