The only way that sports can return as soon as possible will be for players to be quarantined and tested frequently, with games in empty stadiums, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and one of the point people for the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, said that playing without fans and with players in quarantine is the only way sports will return this summer.
MLB has reportedly considered at least two versions of such a plan, with players being quarantined and all games taking place in empty stadiums in either Arizona and Florida or just Arizona.
In an interview with Snapchat’s Peter Hamby, Dr. Fauci was asked whether there’s a way to start the baseball season this summer or whether football will resume in the fall.
“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci said. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled. … Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”
While plenty of people have refuted such plans as being unworkable or missing the soul of the game, Fauci believes that fans will get on board if it’s the only way to have sports return.
“People say ‘You can’t play without spectators,’ well I think you’ll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game,” Fauci said. “Particularly me. I’m living in Washington, we have the world champion Washington Nationals, I want to see them play again.”
President Donald Trump’s administration is clearly looking to bring sports back as soon as possible to enliven a flagging economy and entertain a demoralized public.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Trump is asking some prominent names from the sports world – NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, UFC president Dana White, WWE CEO Vince McMahon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – to help restart in the US economy.
“We need to get our sports back,” Trump said on Tuesday.
It seems like his infectious disease expert agrees.