Fauci suggests sports could return this summer - no fans allowed

(Gray News) - The nation’s top infectious disease expert suggested Major League Baseball in July is a possibility, despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, in an interview published Wednesday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stands before President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, April 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about the potential return of sports among a wide range of topics in the discussion with Peter Hamby for Vanity Fair.

"If you could get on television, Major League Baseball, to start July 4. Let’s say, nobody comes to the stadium," Fauci said. "You just, you do it. I mean people say, 'Well you can’t play without spectators.' Well, I think you’d probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game."

He did say much would depend on what happens with the virus’ spread in the next couple of months.

Fauci has become one of the most widely known experts in the U.S. on COVID-19 through his position with the National Institutes of Health and appearances at the White House task force briefings.

He noted there had been proposals by professional sports leagues to return to play without fans in arenas and stadiums. He also said, as a fan, he wanted to see his defending champion Washington Nationals return to the field.

His suggestion was to get players tested and sequester them in hotels wherever the games will be played.

"Keep them very well surveilled, namely a surveillance, but have them tested, like every week. Buy a gazillion tests," Fauci said. "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."

Hamby’s interview covered other topics ranging from safety and guidelines to 5G conspiracy theories and Tinder. It also is appearing this week on the Snapchat show “Good Luck America.”

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