- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said spectator sports in the U.S. can return this year if fans are not allowed into the stadiums and teams are kept quarantined to avoid risking the spread of COVID-19.

In an interview hosted on Snapchat, Fauci was asked about the possibility of baseball beginning its delayed season this summer and college football and the NFL starting on time in August and September.

“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci said. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put them in big hotels, wherever you want to play. Keep them very well-surveilled, mainly a surveillance, but have them tested every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”

The idea Fauci described has garnered consideration in the sports world: Major League Baseball floated a plan in which all 30 teams play an abbreviated season in Arizona.

It’s unclear how much support that plan has among the players, though. Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman recently wrote that he and his wife are expecting their third child this June and he doesn’t think it’s worth it for him to be separated from his family and miss the birth of his child in order to play baseball.

Meanwhile, Fauci counted himself among people who want to see sports return and revealed that he, like many who work in government in the District, is a Nationals fan.

“People say you can’t play without spectators,” he continued. “Well, I think you probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me. I’m living in Washington. We have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again.”

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