Another major blow for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ... nearly 10,000 volunteers have QUIT over COVID fears just 50 days before the Games are set to begin.
The number of people who just opted out represents 1/8th of the 80,000 unpaid volunteers who signed up to work the event, which is still set to kick off on July 23.
As we previously reported, there is serious backlash in Japan about hosting the Olympics -- considering only about 2 to 3% of the population is vaccinated ... and the country reported a surge in cases in May.
In fact, officials extended a State of Emergency in Japan to June 20 because hospitals and other medical care facilities in major cities are being pushed to the brink.
There have been protests in the streets of Tokyo recently from people concerned the Games will serve as a superspreader event.
There are also reports out of Japan showing 80% of Japanese citizens are AGAINST the Olympics beginning on July 23, as currently scheduled.
Still, Olympics officials have reiterated the Games WILL go on as planned.
Be safe, everyone.
So POTUS, FLOTUS, the VP and the Second Gentleman all walk into a bar ... much to the delight of a bunch of stunned patrons.
President Biden and his wife, Jill -- flanked by Kamala Harris, her husband, Doug, and some Secret Service agents, of course -- hit up the popular D.C. restaurant, Le Diplomate ... in a Memorial Day visit the White House says was unscheduled.
As you can see ... the diners weren't expecting such famous guests to be joining them for lunch, but everyone looked happy as heck about it.
Earlier Monday, Biden and Harris and their spouses attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Biden's Le Diplomate appearance is his first known sit-down visit to a restaurant as Prez, coming not long after the CDC lifted COVID-19 restrictions for those who are vaccinated.
BTW -- the French eatery is a known favorite of the First Lady's ... it even added her favorite dish as a menu special earlier this year after Biden was elected President.
Lil Yachty's so pumped for live music festivals to make their return this summer ... he's ready to
dive backflip right in.
The rapper says the absence of in-person concerts over the past year has been really tough, so just the thought of taking the stage with a packed crowd gets his blood pumping.
Yachty -- who's set to perform at Portugal's Rolling Loud festival in July and at Chicago's Summer Smash in August -- tells us the connection he gets with his fans at a live show is unique ... and he expects the energy to be 50 times as intense after the long COVID break.
The hip-hop star also weighed in on one of hip-hop's biggest feuds over the past few years -- one in which he landed smack dab in the middle of ... and is still trying to do damage control.
Watch the video though ... sounds like Nicki's still not over it.
For the full interview with Lil Yachty, tune in to "TMZ Live" Friday. Check your local listings.
A body was dumped over a bridge into the water below in northern India -- an unthinkable act that 2 people have been arrested for ... but also, a testament to the siege the country is under during a second wave of COVID-19.
This wild video surfaced over the weekend, which purportedly shows two guys chucking a cadaver into the Rapti River somewhere in Balrampur ... which sits in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Local reports say police have identified the men and arrested them.
In the clip, you see the two people here struggling with what appears to be someone in a body bag ... hoisting them up onto the ledge, and then opening whatever enclosure they're in to unleash what's inside. One of the guys doing the deed is covered in full PPE.
According to India Today, a chief medical officer ID'd the body ... reportedly saying they'd been admitted to a hospital on May 25 after testing positive for COVID, only to die a few days later. The hospital released the body to the man's family for cremation, whom officials now claim are the ones behind him being disposed of in morbid fashion.
Bodies along river banks are sadly becoming a regular thing throughout India lately -- as they continue to battle rising COVID cases and deaths during a crippling second wave that has devastated citizens there. Mass burial sites have been formed in and around the Ganga River of late, with scores of dead people being lined up ... and in some cases, burned at a pyre.
While we seem to be turning a corner here in the States, this is a good reminder that many around the world are not faring well against the virus, even at this point.
A Nashville hat shop reeks of anti-Semitism after making light of Star of David patches Jewish people were forced to wear during WWII ... by giving it an anti-vaxx twist.
The place is called hatWRKS ... and they posted a since-deleted Instagram photo featuring a woman proudly rocking a yellow patch -- made in the same style as what Nazis used to brand Jews with in the midst of the Holocaust -- with lettering reading, "Not Vaccinated."
There's a cold-blooded caption attached too, which says ... "patches are here!!! they turned out great. $5ea. strong adhesive back .... we'll be offering trucker caps soon."
Of course, the post caused an uproar online and elsewhere -- and rightly so. People note that comparing what happened to Jewish people to what anti-vaxxers perceive is happening to them right now is absolutely ludicrous, asinine ... and downright wrong. They're not the same -- not even close, and trivializing that history with a patch like this is beyond offensive.
So, what do the owners of this mom-and-pop shop have to say for themselves??? Apparently nothing so far -- it doesn't seem they've responded to the mounting criticism, other than removing the grotesque photo.
It also looks like people have been doxxing the workers there -- including this woman -- and have been posting their info online ... with many blowing up their emails, phone lines and social handles with hate mail. All we can say is ... y'all opened this can of worms. 🤷🏽♂️
You'd think Kate would be fully vaccinated by now, but nope ... she got her first shot Friday at the London Science Museum. Seems London's a little behind the U.S. of A. in the vaccine department ... Kate, who's under 40, just became eligible.
Kate said after getting poked, "Yesterday, I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine ... I'm hugely grateful to everyone who is playing a part in the rollout. Thank you for everything you are doing," adding she's "hugely grateful."
Her hubby, Prince William, got his shot a few days before at the same site.
It's unclear which vaccine they both received. They'd be entitled to either Pfizer or AstraZeneca.
6:34 AM PT -- 5/28 -- It wasn't long after the episode aired that Twitter users started to accuse Kim of getting the virus on her 40th birthday trip to Tahiti.
However, she was quick to shut them down, saying, "False. Nobody caught Covid from the trip. Saint was the first to have it in our family and he caught it from school from another student who tested positive first. I then developed symptoms and got it a few days after he coughed on me while caring for him."
Kim Kardashian had a really bad case of COVID-19 along with her kids, which shut down production of her show for 2 weeks ... and she says it disrupted her studying for her second crack at the baby bar.
A teaser for "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" already revealed Saint had tested positive for the virus -- but on Thursday night's episode we find out the health crisis went far beyond her oldest son, and affected her whole brood.
Kim says Saint tested positive after an apparent outbreak at his school, and she was really worried about him because he was crying and coughing a lot ... on her. Of course, with 3 other kids in the house, she was also concerned about it spreading, and that's exactly what happened.
North started feeling sick soon after, and eventually both she and Kim discovered they had COVID too. At that point, producers decided to shut down all 'KUWTK' shoots for 14 days while the family quarantined.
Kim says she had some severe symptoms, like a 104-degree fever ... exactly when she was supposed to be putting in 12-hour daily study sessions to retake the baby bar exam -- which as we reported, she'd previously flunked.
Fortunately, everyone in the fam recovered okay, but it seems Kim failed on take 2 of the test. Earlier this week, she said she was studying to take it again.
It's still unclear exactly when COVID hit Kim and her kids since the show was filmed months ago, but we know Khloe contracted the virus sometime in 2020 and revealed on 'KUWTK' that her symptoms were so bad ... Kris Jenner called every doctor she could think of for help.
Kim previously stated Kanye West also had it in the very early days of the pandemic.
Originally Published -- 5/27 6:05 PM PT
Guy Fieri smells a comeback in the restaurant industry ... and to celebrate he's throwing a huge party with the help of some famous friends.
The official Mayor of Flavortown will be on "TMZ Live" Monday and says he hopes America's reached the point it can finally be done talking about restaurant closures due to the pandemic ... and begin looking forward.
Enter Guy's Restaurant Reboot ... a live stream special set for June 12 at 7 PM across all of Guy's social media platforms. America's favorite chef calls it a celebration of local restaurants across America.
It's pretty sweet ... Guy and his team got huge backing from LendingTree and Pepsi to support the festivities. Shaq and Gronk will visit their favorite joints in Atlanta (Park Tavern) and Tampa Bay (Datz Restaurant) and actually cook their favorite items.
Diplo and Old Dominion will provide the music. And, $300k will be given away to restaurateurs and entrepreneurs to keep their businesses afloat.
Guy's on a mission to get restaurants up and running again after the pandemic pummeled the industry. More than 100k restaurants either temporarily or permanently closed.
Back when the pandemic ravaged the country ... Guy raised over $20 million for folks adversely affected by the pandemic.
One of the real singing voices behind the infamous pop duo Milli Vanilli has died at the age of 66 after a battle with COVID-19 ... according to his daughter.
John Davis' daughter, Jasmin, revealed her dad died May 24 with a post that read, “My dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus.” She continued, “He made a lot of people happy with his laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music. He gave so much to the world! Please give him the last round of applause. We will miss him dearly.”
The Milli Vanilli duo the public came to know was made up of members Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus. The pair won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990 after their wildly successful "Girl You Know It's True" album dropped the year before.
However, after wildly successful year -- including multiple #1 hits and tours -- Fab and Rob and their producer came clean that it was all a front. They didn't actually sing the songs they'd released, and it was really Davis' voice, and a few others, on the records.
Perhaps the most infamous moment for the pair came during a live performance for MTV in 1989 when the track for "Girl You Know It's True" skipped on a loop, leaving the duo on stage embarrassed.
From there, it was all downhill for Morvan and Pilatus ... they eventually gave up their Grammy, and lawsuits and demands for refunds came flooding in from fans.
Davis attempted to form his own group with one of the original ghost singers, but couldn't repeat the group's success.
Pilatus died in 1998 at the age of 32, following an overdose.
If Senator Rand Paul wants to keep beefing with Richard Marx, it sure seems like the '80s hitmaker will be right here waiting for him ... on Twitter.
Marx is not taking a social media break after Paul publicly accused the singer of calling for violence against him, which the Senator suggested was the reason a suspicious, powder-filled letter was delivered to his home Monday.
If you missed it, Sen. Paul tweeted ... "I take these threats immensely seriously. As a repeated target of violence, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to encourage violence against me and my family."
Rand added ... "Just this weekend Richard Marx called for violence against me and now we receive this powder filled letter." BTW -- the authorities determined the substance in the package was non-toxic.
So, what did Marx say that got Paul so riled up? According to Marx, it was just a "wise-crack" about Rand's neighbor ... you know, the one who beat up Rand in 2017 over a reported landscaping dispute.
Marx tweeted on Sunday ... "I'll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume."
That was enough for the Senator to accuse the singer of inciting violence, but Marx is not backing down or apologizing for his initial tweet.
Instead, he's publicly scoffing at the claim and pointing out all the ways he says Paul has put people at risk with his behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic ... including recently stating that he's against getting vaccinated.
Marx has also been responding to people saying he should be kicked off Twitter by sending links to stories of GOP figures -- including former President Trump -- allegedly inciting violence or being reckless with their words.
Shoulda known better, Richard ... Twitter is a helluva place.
William Shakespeare, the one famous for the COVID-19 vaccine, is dead ... 5 months after getting inoculated. The other Shakespeare's dead too, but you knew that.
The 81-year-old Englishman -- who went by Bill, btw -- died Thursday of an illness, which the BBC reports was unrelated to the vaccine.
As we reported, Bill was the first man, outside of clinical trials, to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine back in December when mass vaccinations began in England.
Jayne Innes, one of Bill's friends and local politicians, wants folks to honor him by getting vaccinated too. Innes says the "best tribute to Bill is to have the jab."
Bill got his shot at University Hospital Coventry, about 20 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the OG Shakespeare. He was an inpatient in the hospital's frailty ward when he got the vaccine.
Bill's shots followed 90-year-old Margaret Keenan's, the first person in the world to get jabbed. By all accounts, she's still fine and dandy.
If you're curious, that other Shakespeare -- the playwright guy -- died at the relatively young age of 52 ... back in 1616.
The NBA says LeBron James was not blocked from playing after violating the league's COVID protocol because officials decided he was NOT a risk to spread the virus.
In fact, the league says investigators determined everyone who was allowed at the May 17 event for LeBron's tequila company -- the event that triggered the violation -- was either vaccinated or tested negative for COVID before being admitted.
There was some outrage after the league announced LeBron had attended the event -- with some calling for the NBA superstar to serve a mandatory quarantine before being allowed on the court out of fear he could infect someone else ... especially since he refuses to publicly confirm or deny if he's been vaccinated.
But, the NBA says there's nothing to fear ...
"LeBron James briefly attended an outdoor event last week where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result," a league spokesperson said Monday,
"Under these circumstances and in consultation with medical experts, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine was necessary."
The NBA also says LeBron did NOT receive special treatment because he's a superstar.
"Over the course of this season, there have been numerous similar violations of the league's Health and Safety Protocols, which were addressed with the player's team in a similar fashion."
Then, the league added this line ... which makes it sound like Bron HAS been vaccinated.
"Under current NBA rules, vaccinated players are permitted to engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements, such as sponsor appearances or ad shoots."
LeBron has yet to confirm, despite repeatedly being asked about it by multiple reporters.
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club had one sweet vaccination deal going over the weekend -- get jabbed, and get a dance from one of their strippers.
The famous Las Vegas strip club turned into a pop-up vaccine clinic as health officials there try to encourage the public to get COVID-19 vaccines -- as demand has dropped dramatically -- and this was one of the more creative ways to do it.
Free Johnson & Johnson shots in a strip joint? Jokes kinda write themselves.
For those who showed up Friday, the club offered a 1-year Platinum Membership Card, a complimentary bottle, free dances from a vaccinated entertainer, tickets to see its famous Sexxy After Dark show and a limo. The total value of this lovely package ... a whopping $5,000.
JoAnn Rupiper, the chief nurse of the Southern Nevada Health District who monitored the pop-up clinic, told the AP, "This is just another way to access our population. It might attract some people who like the novelty of it, I suppose."
The Hustler Club's joint in New Orleans hosted a similar vaccination site ... offering those who showed proof of vaccination a membership card that gave them and 5 friends free admission, among other perks.
All in all ... the pop-up clinic in Vegas administered around 100 shots before the strip club got going for its regular biz.
Other vaccination incentive packages across the country include cash lotteries, marijuana joints or free beer, but Vegas? Well, go with whatcha know!!!
Coming soon to a city near you -- the WWE!!!!
Vince McMahon's wrestling org. is finally ready to take the show back on the road ... announcing a 25-date tour set to kick off in July.
Of course, it's been more than a year since the WWE has hosted any events outside of Florida ... with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the org. to create its ThunderDome setup in the Sunshine State.
WWE took one step towards normalcy by hosting 51,350 fans over two nights for WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa last month.
The famed Money in the Bank event will take place a few days later at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth on the 18th ... and Raw will go down the next night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The tour will run through Labor Day ... so get your tickets, you wrestleheads!!
Kim and the fam talk about Saint's diagnosis on next week's "Keeping up with the Kardashians" episode. You can see the pain as she announces, "Sainty just tested positive for COVID. And, North is saying she's feeling sick."
While Kim never talked about this back when it happened, she does say on the show 5-year-old Saint getting infected had her worried as hell. It's unclear exactly when Saint tested positive but the show's content is usually several months delayed from real life.
It's at least the third time the coronavirus has directly impacted the family. As we reported ... Khloe Kardashian contracted the virus sometime in 2020 and revealed on 'KUWTK' that her symptoms were so bad, Kris Jenner called every doctor she could think of for help.
Some of the symptoms included terrible headaches, a burning chest from all the coughing, hot/cold flashes and vomiting. She said the symptoms lasted a couple of days.
Khloe's diagnosis came on the heels of Kim revealing in July 2020 in a Forbes interview that Kanye West also suffered similar symptoms. Kim had said Kanye got sick around the same time Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson disclosed their diagnosis at the very start of the pandemic.
Donald Trump is getting dragged into court for using the term "China virus" ... a new lawsuit says the former President caused a lot of harm to Chinese Americans with the phrase.
Trump's getting sued by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition ... and they're pissed over him constantly referring to COVID-19 as "Chinese virus," "Wuhan virus" and "Kung Flu" while he was in office.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, the CACRC claims Trump's use of the derogatory terms contributed to the recent rise in violence against Chinese and Asian Americans ... and they claim he should have known better.
As you know ... Trump infamously crossed out "corona virus" in the text of a March 2020 speech and replaced it with "Chinese virus" ... and the CACRC claims he shouldn't have used the term because it’s not entirely clear where the virus actually originated.
In the suit, the CACRC says Trump's constant use of "China virus" was essentially a dog whistle to his legions of supporters, and they claim it has harmed Chinese Americans.
Trump's being sued for defamation and infliction of emotional distress ... and the CACRC wants Trump to cough up $1 for every Asian American and Pacific Islander living in the United States -- roughly $22.9 million. The organization says it will use the money to establish a museum showcasing the history and contributions of AAPI to the U.S.