By Matt Noonan
In a recent interview with the New York Times regarding if and when sports can return safely, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the nation’s leading expert in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19), believes it might be best if our country goes “without sports for this season.” But perhaps not every sport, though.
Speaking with James Wagner and Ken Belson, Fauci stressed safety countless times in his interview as the biggest (and main) priority, not just for the coaches and players, but also for the fans, too. “Safety, for the players and fans, trumps everything,” said Fauci, who is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH).
Safety will certainly be the priority of many leagues going forward, including the various professional organizations that have and continue to float various plans or ideas of starting-up or resuming play later this year in various locations across the country. Additionally, safety will be a major concern for colleges and high schools, both local and national institutions, pending schools are open this fall.
When it comes to college or high school contests, Fauci believes it would be best for gymnasiums and stadiums to admit fewer fans than normal so they can be spread out instead of lumped together. But before non-professional leagues take the field or admit fans to upcoming games, Fauci believes it is best for everyone to wait for the infection rate to lower so if something were to happen “you can stop it from turning into an outbreak.”
As of this afternoon, some fall sports schedules have been released or published, but it is unknown if those games will be played, canceled, or postponed.