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Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a part of the White House task force to combat the coronavirus pandemic, said Tuesday sports could be in jeopardy for the remainder of the year.
Fauci told The New York Times there might not be any type of sports without widespread testing being readily available.
“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” Fauci told the newspaper. “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.’”
Fauci said that even as progress has been made in the country’s fight against the virus, it has not been enough. He said that all public events will need to be closely monitored for any outbreak.
“If we let our desire to prematurely get back to normal, we can only get ourselves right back in the same hole we were in a few weeks ago,” Fauci said. “I would love to be able to have all sports back. 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.”
MLB has been one of the leagues that appear to be revving up plans to start the 2020 season. A bevy of ideas have been reported, though nothing has been set in stone.
Fauci said the best way for baseball to return might be to quarantine players in hotels and to hold games without fans.
“But there's a way of doing that because there have been some proposals both at the level of the NFL, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, to get these people tested, and to put them in big hotels, you know, wherever you want to play,” Fauci told Snapchat’s “Good Luck America.”
“Keep them very well surveilled, namely a surveillance, but have them tested, like every week. By a gazillion tests. And make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their family. And just let them play the season out. I mean, that's a really artificial way to do it, but when you think about it, it might be better than nothing.”