Dr. Fauci cautions a return to sports

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and White House coronavirus taskforce member, expressed caution in a return to sports recently in an interview. He’s been a crucial figure in the COVID-19 situation over the last 60 days and says some sports may not be able to return until 2021.

“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” said Fauci in an interview with the New York Times. “If you can’t guarantee safety, then, unfortunately, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.'”

In previous interviews, the 79-year-old has said that he thinks sports can come back with several precautions. One of those sports he has said is baseball, stating he’s a big Washington Nationals fan.

Right now, NASCAR has a set return date in May, and the PGA has set dates to play in June. The MLB is working on a plan to begin the regular season in home stadiums by the end of June. The NBA and NHL are working on scenarios to play the remainder of their regular season and playoffs, while the NFL is working on possible scheduling alternatives. The WNBA has postponed the start of its season.

“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” said Fauci. “But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”

Each day, the situation is improving, and more states are beginning to ease stay-at-home restrictions. Sports would obviously be great to have back and a good distraction, as long as all participating bodies are as safe as possible.

Dr. Fauci suggests a summer return for sports

In an interview with Peter Hanby of Snapchat, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested a summer return for major sports. But, the return would have some restrictions.

“Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled,” said Fauci. “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.”

There have been similar proposals, such as the MLB’s to play in Florida and Arizona, as well as the NBA’s proposal to play the remainder of the season and the postseason in Las Vegas. From what Fauci said, it seems as if players would get some access to their families as long as players stay relatively isolated.

Right now, the PGA Tour is the first sport to have a return set. They will return to the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11th. Racing events such as NASCAR may end up returning around the same time.

President Donald Trump has set up a committee focused on reopening the economy when safe. Most league commissioners will be giving input, as well as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

“I’m absolutely looking forward to trying to help,” said Cuban, also seen on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’.

The committee is rumored to begin preliminary meetings on Wednesday and will continue to have frequent meetings until further notice.

It’s great that sports are nearing a safe return, and that Dr. Fauci is in agreement.

“I’m living in Washington, we have the world champion Washington Nationals,” said Fauci. “I want to see them play again.”

 

President Trump Hopes To See Fans In Stadiums And Arenas “By August Or September”

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Today, Adam Schefter (ESPN) reported that President Donald Trump was on a conference call with commissioners and top executives of major United States professional sports. The call included NFL commissioner Roger Goddell, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and others representing leagues such as the PGA Tour, NHL, WNBA, etc.

On the call, Trump said that he hopes that fans will be able to attend events again by August or September. He also said that he believes that the NFL will be ready to start on time with no restrictions.

While it wasn’t unexpected, this is a massive blow for major sports. The news pushes the start of the MLB and WNBA seasons way back, halts all PGA and LPGA Tour events for a long time, as well as racing events. For the NBA and the NHL, this makes it less likely that the season will be finished.

It will probably be safe enough for teams to start playing each other before then, but it may only be a few weeks before. If it is as late as July or August, I have a hard time seeing the NHL and NBA return. All the rest of the leagues, with exception to the NFL, will have to play significantly shortened schedules.

This is still a rapidly changing and fluid situation. Each league has new ideas on how to get play going sooner, but all end up being put aside in the end. We may not know more about the resumption of leagues until the amount of COVID-19 cases peak, and we start to see a downward trend.

But for now, continue to social distance and wash your hands. Do your part and hope others do theirs. That way, we can get back to a normal way of life soon.

Stay safe, ESM nation!